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Coastal Research Scientist work towards building sand dunes on the beach for protection against

Posted at 10:33 AM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 11:33:18-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Images during hurricane Hannah in 2020 show the water crashing against the sand dunes.

This is a major concern to coastal research scientist as they continue to monitor sand dunes in the Coastal Bend.

“When we have storms is when we have the greatest erosion and typically the most noticeable to the naked eye,” said Coastal Research Scientist, Deidre Williams.

Williams works with the Conrad Blucher Institute. Where she studies and monitors how beaches are changing. Not only along the Gulf Coast but the bays. Williams said the last completed survey was done after the 2020 storm season.

“We’re in the process of conducting the recovery survey to see how much of the beach is still eroding, how much of the beach has stabilized, if any of the beach has recovered or is in a recovery process,” she said.

Williams tells KRIS 6 News by looking at data from 2019- pre storm to 2020 post storm you can see how the elevation of the dunes was impacted.

“Once the dune is compromised. We can have increased flooding to all the homes back there, hotels, roadways, and habitat,” said Williams.

As the Conrad Blucher Institute gathers data. There’s hope adding more sand to the beaches in Nueces County will build a stronger defense against storms.

“Nueces County can be the recipient of sand when dredge material becomes available,” Williams said.

Right now, Nueces County is in the process of developing this plan, getting permits in order.

It all be reviewed by the core of engineers, the Texas General Land Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Texas Parks and Wildlife.

During this process, members of the community can voice their opinions during public meetings.

While the meetings have not been set. Williams said its likely to be scheduled in the fall.