The Carl “Joe” Gayman Channel connecting the Bahia Grande tidal basin and the Brownsville Ship Channel is closed to the public as of May 1. The pilot channel will reopen in November after undergoing major enhancements.
The current 34-foot-wide half-mile Gayman channel will be widened to 250 feet. A deepening of to nine feet will also increase tidal exchange by a factor of 13 times. The end result will be restoring the ecosystem as a major fish, wildlife and waterfowl nursery and habitat.
The $5-million project is is being implemented by the Texas General Land Office on behalf of the Deepwater Horizon Texas Trustee Implementation Group. It is one of dozens of ecological projects receiving funding from the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment. More than 65 organizations continue to collaborate in the Bahia Grande Restoration Partnership to restore wildlife diversity for future generations. These include local, state and federal agencies; schools and colleges; wildlife, conservation and community groups; and the Port of Brownsville.
“The Port of Brownsville is proud to partner with other organizations to restore the Bahia Grande and create greater recreational opportunities for our communities,” said Port Director and CEO Eduardo A. Campirano. “This brief interruption in water access is well worth the generations of benefit that will come from this significant endeavor.”