GALVESTON, Texas – Galveston is launching a pilot project to see whether seaweed-fortified dunes could be more resilient to storm surges and high tides.
The $140,000 program will be run by the Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees and Texas A&M University at Galveston. They will modify hay baling equipment to lift large mounds of Sargassum. The seaweed will be dried and compressed, and covered with sand and plants.
The project is one of many along the Texas Gulf Coast to use the existing habitat to fight rising sea levels and future hurricanes. The ideas have become more popular since 2008 when Hurricane Ike easily breached Galveston's man-made seawall.
Texas A&M coastal engineer Jens Figlus will compare the seaweed-fortified to ones that don't have the bale foundations to test if they are stronger.