We have just witnessed the incredible natural destructive power of two major hurricanes, Katrina and Rita on the Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coasts. Now we are seeing the intentional destruction of our own dunes in Port Aransas. Our natural dune seawall is our only defense against the tragic loss of life and property that we saw elsewhere just a few weeks ago
when Katrina and Rita came ashore. Whole towns have been wiped from the face of the earth at Holly Beach, Cameron, Waveland, Gulfport, and other locations. These and other storms have caused severe erosion along Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston Island and Follets Island (Surfside) in Texas, and people are losing their homes to the sea. The photo on the left above shows the massive overwash on Dauphin Island, Alabama by Hurricane Katrina. Dauphin had little dune development to protect it. The photo on the right above shows Surfside Village, Texas where several rows of houses have already been lost to beach erosion. Look at the houses now on the beach. Surfside has little or no natural dune seawall to protect it. The natural dune protection that it had has been removed by previous storms. The photo at the left shows what little is left of Holiday Beach, LA after Rita. Holiday Beach had no natural dune seawall (photo from National Geographic News).
Port Aransas and Mustang Island are fortunate to be protected by a wide band of strong, high vegetated dunes. This is our natural dune seawall and it provides the very best protection from destructive hurricane overwash, far better than an expensive and unsightly man made seawall. Short sighted beach management is putting our entire town at risk at the same time that it is costing large amounts of money to move sand. I am sure that we can find better uses