Beneficial Use of Dredge Material

The Beneficial Use of Dredge Material (BUDM) project will restore and protect the quality and function of the beaches and dunes on South Padre Island and adjacent areas. The desired outcome of this project is to place a large amount of beach-quality sand onto the beaches and dunes of South Padre Island in an effort to widen the beaches and strengthen and stabilize the dunes. By widening the beaches, it creates more habitat for wildlife, such as nesting habitat for the endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle and foraging habitat for the threatened Piping Plover. The project also helps protect the beach from future erosion.
The BUDM project takes about six months to plan and implement. This is a project that uses borrowed material from the maintenance of the Brownsville Ship Channel, which is the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)'s responsibility. The State of Texas General Land Office (GLO) partners with them to have this material placed onshore. The City works closely with the GLO during these times and on placement areas. The importance of maintaining the depth of the channel is to ensure the economic benefits of the Port of Brownsville stay within the Rio Grande Valley.
In the event that the USACE cannot place material directly onshore, the material will go to one of two nearshore berms. These berms are roughly a half-mile offshore and work as an additional form of protection from strong wave events. The City has been working with multiple agencies, including federal, private, and a university, on studying whether this material gradually nourishes the beach. 
The timing of BUDM projects is limited, they can only be done outside turtle nesting season which runs from March to October. The schedule of the project is not dictated by the City or State as this is a Federal project overseen by the USACE. The City understands can be a frustrating event but it is necessary to ensure that beaches are renourished on a continuous basis as we mitigate the ongoing erosion occurring at the northern City limits.

Dredging and Nourishment