Sylvan Beach to get some help

March 20, 2008 3:39:11 AM PDT
Big changes are coming to Sylvan Beach in La Porte. County and city leaders are excited about the new restoration project and what it will hopefully mean for the area.

This was once a popular swimming spot, and in a year or so it may be again. It's a good fishing spot on the shore of Galveston Bay. That's as far as Sylvan Beach goes.

"It's ok to go fishing on, but it's not really nice to look at," said visitor Robert Carter.

Tons of concrete blocks line the coast of this Harris County park. Call it old-fashioned erosion control that's about to be replaced by what nature intended, sand, nearly $3 million worth.

Harris County Precinct 2 and the city of La Porte will provide more than a million dollars. The state will do the rest. Harris County will dedicate coastal improvement funds.

"This is a partnership between the state, county and cities to just enhance the quality of life," said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.

Quality of life that's also restoring natural resources.

The chunks of concrete will be removed. Less visible erosion barriers installed, all covered with sand and more.

"And then they're going to build a couple of dams that go out into the water and have two pocket beaches for about a thousand feet long of beach out of a 1,700 foot long project," said Republican State Senator Mike Jackson of District 11. "So it's really going to be nice."

In the distant past, Sylvan Beach was as popular as Galveston. A lot of sand may revive that history and get families back in the water.

"[It would let us] go to the beach without having to make the drive all the way down to Galveston," said visitor Tom Geoca.

The sand could start being trucked in as early as this summer. And the entire project complete perhaps by next summer.

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