Work Continues to Restore Bahia Grande Basin
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – August 27, 2021 – Access to the Carl “Joe” Gayman channel will be closed to the public beginning Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, as work continues to increase tidal exchange and restore the Bahia Grande as a major fish, wildlife and waterfowl nursery.
The closure will occur to the south of SH 48, limiting public parking and access to the channel.
The current 34-foot-wide half-mile Gayman channel connecting the Bahia Grande and the Brownsville Ship Channel will be widened to 250 feet and deepened to nine feet. This will increase tidal exchange by a factor of 13x and restore the ecosystem as a major fish, wildlife and waterfowl nursery and habitat. The Bahia Grande is a 10,000-acre coastal ecosystem and wetland complex that includes three shallow basins located within the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, immediately north of the Brownsville Ship Channel.
The $5 million project is being implemented by the Texas General Land Office on behalf of the Deepwater Horizon Texas Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) which includes Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas General Land Office, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on behalf of U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.