The Port of Houston Authority Commission met on Monday, primarily discussing the proposal to deepen and widen the Bayport Ship Channel, according to Guidry News:
“The staff is working many, many issues,” said Executive Director Colonel Leonard Waterworth. “This is essentially designed to be an information briefing.
Mark Vincent, director of Channel Development, updated the commission on the port authority’s permit application to deepen and widen the Bayport Ship Channel. [Listen]
“The principal objective of our Bayport Channel Improvement Project is to improve and increase navigation safety and efficiency,” Vincent said. “While we are doing that, of course, we expect to minimize environmental impacts and also, because we have an opportunity, to provide for beneficial use of the material that we do dredge for habitat creation, if possible.”
Members of the commission discussed the concerns about the proposed creation of disposal area on the west side of the Ship Channel opposite the Houston Yacht Club that some say will hamper sailing activities.
“Do we get more heartburn on this from the yacht club or the residents?” asked Commissioner Elyse Lanier.
“We are receiving community concerns from the sailing community in and around this area,” Waterworth answered. “I’ve not heard any complaints about deepening the channel. It’s the placement of the dredge material which is causing the sailboat community some concern.”
“I disagree just a little bit,” said Commissioner Jimmy Burke. “The sailing community certainly is upset about it, but…it has poured over into the community, no doubt about it.”
Burke noted that three Bay area city councils are considering resolutions in opposition to the project. La Porte City Council and Shoreacres city councils have the resolution on their agendas tonight.
“Perhaps we should go on record as favoring another option,” suggested Commissioner Jim Fonteno.
Waterworth suggested that the commission wait until another workshop on the issue before taking a position.