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Kovacs put together a committee to study the beach-maintenance issue.

Port A to review upkeep of beach

Group will weigh beach access, need to replenish dunes

By Jaime Powell Caller-Times
November 11, 2005

PORT ARANSAS - A committee put together by Port Aransas City Manager Michael Kovacs will spend the next several weeks collecting data to determine what if anything needs to be done with the city's coastal management plan.

Richard Watson, a 40-year veteran geologist and Port Aransas resident, first drew attention to the city's beach maintenance procedures several weeks ago.

In a paper distributed to the City Council, he questioned why city crews push sand that has blown onto the beach roadways back into the sea, rather than letting it shore up the natural dune structure vital as a barrier during a hurricane.

The sand is supposed to be deposited between the line of vegetation - the point on the beach where plants begin to grow - and the average high tide line, where it can strengthen the sand dunes that protect the city from surge water during storms, according to state law, Watson said.

"A natural dune seawall is the best protection," Watson told committee members including city staff, scientists from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, and a representative from the Texas General Land Office, Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce and Shiner Moseley and Associates, the city's engineering company. "Nature is trying to build it. Let it build it."

Figuring out how to let nature take its course, while keeping the beach accessible to the tourists vital to the local economy, is the balancing act, committee members said.

To do so, Kovacs said the city will determine how much of the approximately 80-foot-wide driving and maintenance surface on the beach is needed, and what might be turned over for sand dunes.

Contact Jaime Powell at

886-3716 or HYPERLINK

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