Indian Point Pier on Corpus Christi Bay is one of 13 preferred projects in Texas to receive major funding resulting from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which occurred in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. Chosen from more than 800 applications, the project includes building a 2,800-foot barrier to protect salt marches in the area from erosion. Work on the $2.2 million Indian Point Shoreline Erosion Protection Project should begin in 2018.
Indian Point Peninsula supports U.S. 181 as it crosses Nueces Bay between Corpus Christi and Portland, about 4 miles north of the Harbor Bridge. The area has been eroding since the 1940s, according to studies by the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program.
In 2015, Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries spent $750,000 building graded riprap revetment and offshore breakwater to help slow down erosion. Riprap revetment is a foundation built in water of broken stones. It is used in stream restoration as well as river and coastal engineering. Offshore breakwater is a structure built to protect coastal habitat from wave erosion.
Indian Point is expected to receive $140 million in total to be phased out over 14 years. Officials called it a transformative level of restoration that would not have happened without the BP funding.
Total cost of the 13 projects most recently approved is estimated at $45,761,000. Other work includes five habitat construction projects in the Galveston Bay, Sabine Lake and Corpus Christi Bay areas; three habitat engineering projects in Galveston Bay; one oyster restoration engineering project in Galveston Bay; and four habitat acquisition projects in Galveston Bay, Matagorda Bay and Lower Laguna Madre areas.
The largest maritime oil spill in U.S. history, the Deepwater Horizon spill discharged millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Restoration funds were awarded under a settlement reached April 4, 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Funds will be distributed to restoration projects through 2031. During that time frame, the public will be able to submit project ideas and proposals and comment on draft restoration plans.
The current draft restoration plan was published in May and can be reviewed online at gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov. The process for public input and rewarding of funds lies with the Texas Trustee Implementation Group. It is composed of three Texas trustee agencies and four federal trustee agencies: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ); Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD); Texas General Land Office (TGLO); U.S. Department of Commerce, represented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), represented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS); U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), (collectively, the Texas TIG).