Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Chocolate Bayou, Texas. Draft environmental impact statement.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District
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The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is a Federal shallow-draft navigation project extending 1,115 miles from Apalachee Bay, Florida to Brownsville, Texas. The Chocolate Bayou, Texas, navigation project, is a side channel to the main waterway, joining it near the mouth of Chocolate Bay, an arm of West (Galveston) Bay, about 26 miles west of Galveston, Texas. The navigation improvements will stimulate industrial and commercial activities resulting in economic betterment of the area. A saltwater barrier upstream of the head of the navigation project will prevent movement of saltwater upstream into irrigation water sources. About 170 acres of low lying lands will be displaced by the straightening and enlargement of the channel. Spoil disposal will cover some vegetated areas that are of value as habitat and cover for fish and wildlife. Short-term localized turbidity in the bay waters will result from the dredging operations. Disturbance of marsh areas, temporary elimination of vegetation on existing spoil banks, temporary increase of turbidity in the bayou and bay, temporary loss of benthic organisms in excavated areas, and temporary elimination of vegetation on upland spoil disposal areas are unavoidable adverse environmental effects.