Port approves plan to expand channel without using dredge material

August 15, 2012 9:09:07 PM PDT
One Houston-area neighborhood is celebrating a victory against what it thought was a bad idea. Houston port commissioners on Wednesday approved a plan for improving the Bayport Ship Channel, but one controversial component is missing.

It's part of the ongoing plan to deepen and widen the channel. The Houston Port Authority had suggested creating a marsh with dredge material in the middle of Galveston Bay.

Well, now after much opposition that's been taken off the table. Leading the charge against the proposed marsh is the Houston Yacht Club, which argued that having 475-acre silt island in the bay would affect their ability to host sailing events.

Yacht club members and bay area residents spoke up, so on Wednesday, port commissioners removed the option, saying they will just use the disposal area they have already been using to deposit what they dredge.

"I'm all in favor of it. I'm glad they listened to the locals who said that would messed up our sailing area, our boating area, our fishing area, everything," Shoreacres resident Cody Wollard said.

And that's exactly what the Port Authority said it did, listen to the community.

A spokeswoman for the port said they were concerned about delays in their expansion project and that there were so many questions and concerns from members of the community that the leadership decided it was in their best interest to remove the marsh option.

The yacht club says it's also pleased with teh decision and they look forward to working with the port authority in the future, although other residents told us that this is a very small victory against a big government entity.

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