Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hurricane Ike

September 24, 2008

Today people started coming back to the island to access damage to their homes. Now is a time for rebuilding.

As a group Sunny Beach Neighbors are there for each other. Thanks to everyone who sent pictures and kept one another in touch with neighborhood information.

I'm not sure how to get the pictures on the blog, if you did not receive them just let me know and I'll get them to you.

I hope to see everyone soon. I'm in Minnesota and Tom is on the island.

We'll post things when we can.

Everyone stay safe!


Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Bond Issuance Passed!

Our sewer bond issuance has made it through the city council with a super majority vote of 6 of 7 votes. The money will be here to spend in about a month. We can expect work to begin this winter with completion by spring. Congatulations to everyone. As a reminder, the city is working on language that will allow those with newer systems to continue using those systems for 5 to 10 years, allowing the amortization of those investments.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sunny Beach Neighborhood Celebrates 10th Anniversary!

We have very important issues to deal with so please everyone please stay tuned. We will do our very best to keep everyone up to date. I will try to place them here in order of time sensitivity.

City Council Vote!!!!
Thursday July 24Th the city council will vote on the bond issue that will fund our sewer project. The vote will require a super majority of 6 votes. There is one new council member Elizabeth Beeton that has voted against a previously planned project that they nearly lost. If she does it again we will have a problem. She is taking issue with process, not the bond issue itself apparently. Given the issue with the proposed rules from the GLO, some of you may have issue with any further delay. If it goes through as planned, we will have sewer construction beginning in about 6 months. If you are considering a construction project please consider and watch this carefully. For those of you with perfectly working, maybe even new septic systems, there is a proposed rule change to allow you to keep using your system for 5 to 10 years in order to see your investment through. This is a very nice compromise by the city. With our new sewers we need a lift station. The land where the old water tank was on the west side of 8 mile road is being considered. They will deal with that as well in the Thursday meeting. A land swap is being constructed between the city and Marquette Development. Our new representative on the council is Karen Mahoney. She is aware of our issue.

HB-2819 The proposed rules by the GLO!
If you haven't kept up with this you need to. Check the previous posts. Read all you can. On July 8Th, Jerry Patterson explained the new proposed rules for building set backs from the beach. As of right now he is saying these are voluntary rules that the local governments can comply with or not. However compliance will be tied to grant funding for CEPRA (Coastal Erosion Protection and Response Act)Funding. It is currently scheduled to take affect July 2009. It will not affect the current project re nourishment from being funded. That project will place sand 200 feet south of it's current position from the Seawall to 11mile road. A nice project for us. The City and County of Galveston, are opposed to the rule changes as you might expect. At the meeting County Judge Jim Yarborough as well as county commissioners verbally opposed the rules and said they could not support them as written. The WGIPOA is working with our local governments to come up with our own proposal to bring to them that may be a little less debilitating for land owners. Jerry Mohn has advised my that for now we should do nothing with this until they are further along. I will keep you posted PLEASE STAY TUNED. Any public comment must be to the GLO by August 15Th.

Tied to all the funding mechanisms for our re nourishment and other projects is the 4B Sales tax extension the city is asking for in the upcoming election. It will be on the ballot as a charter amendment. This sales tax is already being charged but the authority to charge it will run out in 2009. The amendment will authorize an extension of that authority. This needs to pass. YOU NEED TO VOTE. If one of your family members is not claiming voting rights in this city....YOU NEED TO. The west end now makes up approximately 48% of the tax base on the island but very little in registered voters. We need you. In order to take on big issues we need to have influence with our vote. A husband and wife can have one vote here and another in your other city and county. All you need to do is register to vote in this city. Please see the link. You can claim a homestead exemption on your home here too. Slow the tax man down a little.

At the Sunny Beach July 5Th Meeting we discussed the HB-2819. We are still in the same wait and see pattern for now but the announcement of the sewer project may influence some of the discussion.

It looks like we may get the long awaited for sidewalk along 8 mile road. The city is in budget cycle now and we reminded Steve LaBlanc (City Manager)of our request last year. We got a favorable response. It may well all happen at the same time as the sewer then roads etc.

Our new directory is going to print. Dues are due now. If you haven't payed them yet please do so.

The next WGIPOA meeting should be interesting. The General from the Army Corps of Engineers will be a guest. Many westenders believe that corps projects are at the core of our erosion issues.

Please also two committees that the WGIPOA has set up to watch legislation keep us current are the windstorm insurance committee and the tax valuations. They need help volunteers for these committees would put a nice foot forward for Sunny Beach. Any one interested please see the WGIPOA Website and call the committee chair. Hope all is well I will update you as I know more.

Monday, June 30, 2008

GLO Proposed Setbacks (HB 2819)

If the suggested setbacks go into place it would bump building from 25 feet, the current setback, to an average of 300 feet from the dune line. That would be around Beard Drive, you could lose the right to build on Bernice Drive.

Two public hearings have been scheduled for July 8th. The first of the two will be held at 11:00 am in the Jury Assembly Room at the new Galveston County Justice Center, and the second will be at 4:00 pm in the County Annex Building on the Bolivar Peninsula. Commisioner Patterson will be at both. We hope you all can attend.

Please view these two stories that were in the Galveston Daily News for more information:

HB 2819 Proposed GLO Rule Changes Erosion Response Plan (ERP)\

• Local governments must develop a draft plan by July 1, 2009, and
incorporate into the existing Beach & Dune Plan
• Establishment of a set back line, at minimum, no less than the greater of:
􀂾 60 times annual erosion rate, measured from the line of vegetation
(Basis UT Bureau of Economic Geology erosion rates);
􀂾 25 feet landward of the landward toe of the foredune ridge; or
􀂾 If there is no foredune ridge, 300 feet landward of mean high water of
the Gulf of Mexico
• Set back line rules for local governments
􀂾 Develop criteria to identify properties seaward of the set back line for
acquisition by local government
􀂾 Provide for the acquisition of fee simple title or a lesser interest in
such properties by the local government.
􀂾 Promulgate techniques for prioritizing properties to be acquired by
local government
􀂾 Consider acquisition of structures located seaward of the set back
line, by the local government. Structures that are damaged more than
50% or destroyed by a meteorological event repairs will fall under
provisions of proposed rules section with stricter standards.
􀂾 Prohibit new construction seaward of the building setback line.
􀀹 No construction for platted properties within setback line
Practicable standard / with limited grandfather provisionmust
have current or expired beachfront construction.
Construction activities cannot exceed footprint of original
􀂾 Structures within the setback area
􀀹 New construction are to be 3 feet freeboard above BFE and no
impervious cover and open foundations
􀀹 Develop a relocation plan for structures less than 5000 square
feet prepared by a registered professional engineer. Larger
structures not required to have a relocation plan.
􀂾 Dune Protection Line (DPL)
􀀹 The building set back line may not be located further
landward then the DPL, but the DPL must protect critical
dunes from erosion due to construction on adjacent properties.
Counties have statuatory authority to establish DPL, set-back
lines could impact DPL, forcing movement of DPL to match
State requirements.
􀀹 Local governments should ensure existing dunes protect inland
areas from a 100 year storm surge
􀀹 Local governments should provide dune restoration to fill gaps
in foredune ridge created by blowouts and private access
􀂾 Grandfathered areas:
􀀹 Previously approved master planned developments as defined
by GLO
􀀹 Accreting beach greater than 2 feet per year
􀀹 Platted property with an expired or current permit with
construction consistent with the prior permit
• Requirement for consideration of CEPRA eligibility
• Updated every 5 years
Other changes in HB 2819
• Line of vegetation – GLO determination is final
• Review periods – permits and amendments to beach access plans –
depending on situation, can be 30, 60, or 90 days
• GLO Commissioner has authority to determine if a property is insurable and
should be denied windstorm coverage through TWIA
• Prepare Geo-hazard maps for various coastal

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June 2008 Newsletter - 2008-2009 Dues are being collected

Sunny Beach Neighborhood is an unincorporated, nonprofit, voluntary organization established to enhance the common voice of Sunny Beach.

Sunny Beach Neighbors: Summer is here, and it looks to be a HOT one!

2008-2009 dues are being collected; invoices should be attached to your newsletter.
Next Meeting
Our next meeting will be Saturday, July 5th, 2008, at 6 p.m. The Empey’s will host this meeting at their home, 11221 Bernice Drive.
Sunny Beach Blog
Tom Empey created a blog for Sunny Beach Neighborhood where we can post thoughts and comments and look at news from the neighborhood. Log onto: If you want to leave a comment, go past the posted information, and when you get to the bottom of that posting, you will see “leave a comment.” Click on that to leave your comments (not the picture of mail). Some people have been having problems signing on, but if you follow the instructions you should not have a problem. You need a Google account to leave a comment, not to read the blog. You can set that up by following links on our blog page. Once you have your Google account, you just sign in (normally, this is entering your e-mail address and a password) and type your comments.

E-Mail Addresses for Sunny Beach
Please send your preferred email address to: for future correspondences.

Projects – Past, Present and Future
CEPRA – FEMA Assistance This replacement sand that was lost during Rita. Sand was placed in early March, and if you blinked, or didn’t come that particular week, you missed it. The replacement sand has been redistributed. High tides took it out faster than it was placed.

Sunny Beach Sign We discussed landscaping at the last meeting, but without water it is going to be very difficult to do. Julia Lewis planted some nice flowers, and Anne Billings put a plant and painted the east side of the sun face to make it more visible. Bill Bond has been watering when he can. Art Cantu bought the pelican that is sitting on one of the pilings. It’s looking good!

Sidewalk to the Beach We have a new city council person, which we have not made contact with yet. At the next meeting, let’s have discussion on perhaps doing our own sidewalk.

Directory Anne Billings is working on our new directory. If you have any changes or additions, please let her know. Send them to Members are denoted in the Directory, so get your dues in as soon as possible to be credited as a member.

Raking This subject seems to change as often as the tide. We were told we needed a survey and permit to have the beach raked. Then we received an email stating that the Park Board could do it and we didn’t have to do anything but submit a letter. We submitted a letter, only to find out the GLO is making the Park Board also have permits to rake any areas they take care of. So, we were back to the no raking … but they have scraped it a few times since our letter. We have decided if they rake fine, if they don’t fine. We did not apply for a permit.

Hurricane Season Plan We all need to develop a plan in case we have a storm heading our way. After Rita, we all learned a lot about what needs to be done and having someone in place to do it. The people who live here have to take care of their own houses and leave early. Check now to make sure you have a shutter system available — whether that is cut plywood, film on your windows, shutters (roll, electric or other), or whatever you choose. Make sure everything is in working condition, so when it comes time to use it you are ready. When you leave the beach, take in your furniture, BBQ grill, or anything you have outside that could become a missile during high winds. If you have a rental, make sure the agency will take everything in for you. Give your cell phone number to Gerri Empey, and she will call after the storm to give you an update of the neighborhood (Tom will be here). We don’t live for storms, but we should have a plan in place in case we get one!

Garbage In your water bill you received guidelines for placement of garbage. Garbage is collected Monday morning; please do not put your garbage out before Sunday afternoon. If you have your house in a rental pool you need at least two cans. Call 409-741-4636 to order additional cans; it’s only an additional $3 per month. Make sure you have a system in place so that your trashcans get taken in and out at appropriate times.

Dirt Roads Please slow down, and post a sign in your rentals for cars to watch for pedestrians and to drive slowly. We have dirt roads and when people go speeding up and down them, the people on the north side of the road have a cloud of dust drifting into their faces. We have dogs, children and adults walking to and from the beach … please, let’s keep everyone safe and dust-free.

Lock Your Cars We have a lot of people coming and going in our neighborhood. Please question people. If it doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. If your doors are locked you shouldn’t have any problems.
Texas Beach Watch Program The Galveston County Health District tests bacteria levels on the West End beaches. One of the locations checked is at 8 Mile Road, and we have a sign that lets you know if the bacteria levels are high. You also can check the Web site at
West Galveston Island Property Owners Association
WGIPOA is in its eighth year, and the challenges are still significant in the areas of coastal erosion, taxes, security, drainage and evacuation. They have been successful in addressing issues and concerns of property owner associations and maintaining the quality of life we enjoy on the West End. For information, go to or contact Jerry Mohn,

Galveston Calendar of Events
July 5th Sunny Beach Neighborhood Meeting
Downtown Farmers Market (second Sat. every month)
Galveston ArtWalks
For more information, go to
Sunny Beach Neighborhood
It’s never too late to join the Sunny Beach Neighborhood Organization!
Dues are only $25 a year; 2008-2009 dues are payable now. Your invoice is attached.

Sunny Beach Neighborhood is an unincorporated, nonprofit, voluntary organization. We exist to provide ways for our neighborhood to come together as a group and to make Sunny Beach a better place to live and play. Dues are only $25 a year; 2008-2009 dues are payable now. This pays for our membership with the West Galveston Island Property Owners Association (WGIPOA), newsletters, our directory, right-to-use access for our beach walkover, and other neighborhood improvement projects that the group would like to accomplish.

President — Tom Empey, 11221 Bernice Drive, or 409-741-2455
Treasurer — Sook Miller, 11227 Bernice Drive, or 713-822-8395
Secretary — Kathe Giebelhaus, 11210 Bernice Drive, or

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

School Kids Plant Vegetation on Sunny Beach Dunes

Weis Middle School Children were in Sunny Beach on Tuesday May 20th. They were planting Bitter Panicum along the dunes.

They have been here before. About 3 years ago their science teacher chose our beach with another group and planted the same type of vegetation.

As you can see they were very successful and beach dunes benefited.
This time Jay Smith, the science teacher, has a new tool he calls Super Soil. It sucks moisture towards the plant roots and keeps it there.
As these plants grow they trap blowing sand and help build the dunes naturally, so that when we do have a storm event it adds the natural defense of a better dune line.

This last photo is a part of our dune line that the kids are planting now. As you can see from the previous photos, the plantings make a giant difference. Everything that each of us does to improve our environment contributes to the overall well being of everything and everyone around us.

Thank You, to all the young people that contributed to this project, from the Sunny Beach Neighbors. We appreciate your hard work and dedication to helping the beach.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Update on Cost of Raking:

I had an email from the City and part of the application for the permit is that the beach has to be surveyed. I called the survey company, that is doing the survey for the sand project right now, and the very least they would charge is $500. It will be more like $1,000-$3,000 and every year you have to have a new survey when you apply for the raking permit.

So it's $100 for the permit, then the survey, and I would have to find someone to rake (the city didn't have a list of who does that). So it looks to be cost prohibited to pull a permit to "maybe" rake. Sorry!


Yes 8 (get permit) (1 of those was yes, but no money. Another one was depending on cost)
No 4 (leave it)
Didn't matter 3

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Meeting notes from 3/8/2008

Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association
Notes from 3/8/2008

1. Financial Status of Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association

a. Current Balance: $1297.16. We had collected $1200 for the Rita replacement sand project and a letter regarding the sand money is being developed. We have $97.16 for our working expenses, and $275 due for WGIPOA
i. Accounts Receivable from Outstanding Dues- We will let you know if you haven't paid your dues for 2007.
Current obligation
i. WGIPOA Dues - $275 due now
ii. Right to use easement fees - $40 due in November
iii. Refunds if any for the neighbors that contributed extra for the match funds that were not required, WGIPOA is asking for use to raise $7500 for the major sand project, a letter regarding the sand money is being developed.
Status of current projects
The Sign Project
Budget vs. Actual
1. Budget - $1000 (from what we remembered)
2. Actual - $1534.95, there might be one more outstanding receipt for the finishing rope, stainless screws. (Gerri thought $1037, but I don't know how to add
5/1/07 Coastal Surveying Of Texas, Inc Sign Survey 162.37
8/23/07 City Of Galveston Sign - Permits 70.00
8/30/07 Galveston Wholesale Sign - Pilings 221.70
8/31/07 Alberts Pilings Sign - Pile Placement 250.00
11/4/07 Bruce Billings Sign - Letters & Sun's 332.75
11/19/07 Sea Sharp Sign - rope, boards, paint etc... 498.13
TOTAL 4/1/07 - 3/8/08 -1,534.95

3. Landscaping Discussion - Kathryn Berdine ... will you help develop a landscape plan and budget?? Anyone who has plants they might want to contribute, or ideas, you can email Gerri and she will cor-ordinate the information. Sook has a couple of big white sea rocks that we could incorporate.
4. Other discussion regarding the sign project- Looks good, the Billings would like a carved pelican or seagull on the pilings.
The Sand Projects Discussion --- We have two
1. FEMA RITA REPLACEMENT - being placed now
2. CEPRA V the large project and the difference between the two. This project is being delayed until late 2009/2010
Sidewalk Project is currently stalled. We will have to make another official request and start the process over Discussion Tom will make contact with Diana Puchitti and Steve LeBlanc, looks like we just need to stay with this until someone helps. This is a sidewalk from Schwartz to either Bernice or beach due to the danger of walking along 8 mile road.
Water Tower Complete?? Everybody Happy? It's completed, looks good
Other Items that effect us
i. 4b sales tax discussion
ii. consider registering in Galveston for the right to vote. One person can vote where your home is and one can vote here for Galveston issues.
Resolution Sent to Washington. You can read this on the blog
Other projects considered at previous meetings
i. Trees for the front of the neighborhood along 3005. Any discussion? Gerri will contact owners along 3005 and get pricing on clearing ditches, Tom will get prices on 5' trees.
Projects to be considered for this year???
i. Sea Weed push back: Gerri thought she read that we have to have a survey, she will get clarification .. it may be cost prohibited.
ii. Sook would like to see umbrellas and chairs, something to create a better feel and look for the front of our development .. maybe Jacob might want a job?
iii. Concern was expressed about a few people who come everyday and hang out in the parking area, Gerri will follow-up with Mark Miller to see what he suggests we do.

What impact do we want on the west ends future?
Does anyone want to go to the city planning meetings for the future of Galveston?
We have the right to a board seat at the table of the west WGIPOA. Would anyone like to consider putting his or her hat in the ring? The next opportunity is next February.
Reminders for the season. Talk to your neighbors about a hurricane plan when you see them.
Send them to the blog: Things that need to be done before the next meeting: Which will be in June.

Sook - Get TIN

Landscape - Design around sign, Trees along 3005 behind homes on Schwartz. Ask Kathryn Berdine if she will head this project.

Sidewalk/Rope - Tom will re propose the sidewalk plan, and call our city council rep.

Gerri - Will talk to Mark Miller about group on the beach.
And also find out more information on Sea Weed Permit.

Kathe and Tom will develop letter and information about the major sand project, suggested donations and we will need every one's response on whether they will participate.
Newsletter in May, next meeting is June ... Anyone want to host it??

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sand is Here!

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008 ... replacement sand from Hurricane Rita.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Corps begins taking samples, Annual meeting

Remember the letter we recieved from the Army Corps of Engineers some time ago? We have finally seen the exploring begin. They were out taking soil samples. Here is a picture from Bernice Drive. Nothing has blown up so far......So far so good.

West Galveston Island Property Owners Association met for the annual meeting as well as a program presented by the city. You can the read all about it at the WGIPOA website. The Following is a resolution that the WGIPOA has excepted and as a signator we, your board, are also excepting.

The CEPRA II replacement sand is finally at hand. At the meeting it was announced the work would began on Monday Feb 17th in Spanish Grant. That will be nice to see.

Our Meeting is schedualed for Sat March 8th Hope to see you there.


Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association

2008 Coastal Federal Legislative Agenda

On this the 16th day of February, 2008, the Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association on West Galveston Island, Texas; met in special session when the following proceedings, were had, to-wit:

Whereas, America’s, and specifically, the beaches and shorelines of West Galveston Island, Texas, are home to some of the nation’s most precious natural resources. Beyond their intrinsic natural beauty, healthy beaches provide effective storm damage protection, offer residents and visitors unequaled recreational opportunities, and provide unique environmental habitats. Together with coastal wetlands, bird sanctuaries, estuaries, ports, intra-coastal waterways and other resources, our coastal regions are economic engines filled with recreational opportunities and environmental treasures that deserve to be preserved and protected. America’s beaches are major tourist destinations for millions of domestic and foreign visitors, providing jobs and business profits which, in turn, produce billions of dollars in tax revenue for the federal government; and

Whereas, the devastation caused by hurricanes and severe weather underscores the need to invest in our nations water resources infrastructure, including shore protection projects; and

Whereas, nearly 60 percent of all Americans live within 50 miles of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, and the five Great Lakes; and it is imperative the federal government acknowledge its role and responsibility for continued support of our nation’s public shores and beaches; and

Whereas, the past half century has demonstrated that beach nourishment works as a means of repairing erosion, storm damage protection and providing recreation while providing at least $4 in national economic benefits for every $1 of federal money spent.

Now, Therefore, Be it Resolved that the Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association, and the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association, (ASBPA) call upon federal legislators to help enact the Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association, 2008 Coastal Federal Legislative Agenda including the following actions:

ASBPA and the Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association, support the following Federal Funding Initiatives
· Support the Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Shoreline Erosion Feasibility Study to meet project goals and objectives by providing sufficient funding for those purposes and provide increased funding for studies and beach restoration projects throughout the nation and urges the Administration to include them in its budget recommendations. If the Administration does not recommend adequate funding for these studies and projects, jointly, the ASBPA and the Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association, respectfully reminds Congress that it is essential that priority be given to funding the periodic nourishments to which Congress has made a statutory commitment. In addition, ASBPA and the Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association, urges Congress to fund new beach nourishment study and construction starts, and permit projects to move seamlessly from study to design to construction. ASBPA estimates the cost of providing adequate federal funding for all beach restoration projects and studies in FY 2009 to be over $300 million, which will be matched by over $175 million from states and localities; and,

· Support adequate federal funding for shallow draft federal waterways, including the nation’s Intracoastal Waterway systems. These waterways are an essential part of the national waterways system, whose users provide significant tax revenues to the federal government; and,

· Support funding for the National Shoreline Technology Demonstration Program (the “Section 227 Program”) at no less than $10 million, and the National Shoreline Management Study at no less than $1 million. Equally important is the need to provide at least $30 million for the newly-authorized National Regional Sediment Management Program, including funding for studies that had been partially funded previously by Congress under the former Regional Sediment Management Demonstration Program; and,

· The U.S. Ocean Commission report and the President’s Ocean Action Plan highlight the need to assemble and make available to the public coastal and ocean data. ASBPA and the Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association, urge Congress to initiate $1 million in funding for the National Coastal Data Bank. By appropriating $1 million, Congress can begin a four-year effort to establish an Internet-based home for existing federal, state, and academic institution data on coastal processes; and,

· Supports increased funding for FEMA’s pre-disaster mitigation program and urges that agency to recognize the significant damage mitigation benefits derived from nourished beaches by encouraging coastal communities to restore eroded beaches; and,

· Supports the completion of the 2005 National Survey on Recreation and the Environment being conducted by NOAA’s Coastal and Ocean Resource Economics Division. And fund $400,000 in FY 2009 to complete the 2005 Survey and $20,000 to allow NOAA to share the collected economic data with coastal states; and,

ASBPA and the Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association, support the following
Federal Policy Initiatives

· Passage of a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) in 2008 so that Congress can return to a biennial schedule of this bill that is critical for the nation’s water resources infrastructure; and,

· Urges the inclusion in WRDA of language requiring the Corps of Engineers to give equal weight to the economic benefits of tourism, recreation, boating, and fishing to the region and the nation in formulating beach nourishment projects; and,

· Urges the passage of H.R. 68, which will allow for the Corps of Engineers to recommend to Congress the reauthorization of beach nourishment projects prior to the expiration of their initial 50-year period for federal fiscal involvement.; and,

· Urges the Corps of Engineers to develop guidelines that enable local governments and private homeowner groups to avoid being penalized for undertaking interim erosion control activities prior to a pending federal beach nourishment project; and,

· Encourages federal initiatives to develop research in coastal engineering and science; and,

· Supports the development of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and urges Congress to pass the Ocean and Coastal Observation Systems Act (S. 950). Enhanced collection and analysis of coastal and ocean data will improve public policy decisions and will also help provide advance warning of hazardous conditions to potentially-affected coastal communities; and,

· Urges Congress to reauthorize the BEACH Act by passing HR 2537 and S 1506, and recommends continued investment in protecting beach water quality provided that it includes additional studies of epidemiology to update or improve our understanding of appropriate pathogen; and,

· Supports a multi-agency approach to assess the economic and environmental impacts of beaches and the beach nourishment process including the belief that the level of risk from coastal storms and sea level rise faced by the nation needs to be addressed by a coherent national policy and a multi-year action plan needs to be developed in order to streamline federal efforts to address these; and

· Urges all levels of government to adopt measures to assure that all members of the public have access to coastal resources and to encourage development practices that are consistent with natural hazards and local conditions. In addition, federal agencies such as FEMA and the Corps of Engineers should reward those communities that have adopted such; and,

ASBPA and the Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association, support these additional
Federal Initiatives

· Supports the creation of a Water Resources Coalition to advance federal policies and funding for water resources across the nation. This partnership between leading trade associations, interest groups, corporate interests, and governmental organizations will work with Congress, the Corps of Engineers, and other federal agencies to improve the practices and policies impacting the nation’s water resources, and to encourage full federal funding for the nation’s water infrastructure; and,

· Supports the re-establishment of a Senate Coastal Caucus as well as the strengthening of the House Coastal Caucus and the Congressional Waterways Caucus and will provide each with day-to-day assistance; and,

· Supports the mission of the re-established Congressional Hazards Caucus and will participate in the activities of the Congressional Hazards Caucus Alliance, a working group formed to provide information and support to Caucus members. Additionally urges coordination and cooperation among the various congressional caucuses concerned with coastal and tourism; and,

· Supports the efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to expand property owner participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Be it Further Resolved that the Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association, issues this Resolution supporting the ASBPA and the Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association 2008 Coastal Federal Legislative Agenda and seeks the aid and support of its legislative delegation in the passage of these desperately needed programs; and

Be it further Resolved additionally that a copy of this Resolution be spread upon the minutes of this Organization and that originals hereof be furnished to Senator Hutchison, Senator Cornyn, and Representative Paul.

Upon Motion Duly Made and Seconded, the above Resolution was unanimously passed on this 16th day of February, 2008.

Attest: Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association

Tom Empey, President

Sook Miller, Treasurer

Kathe Giebelhuas, Secretary

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Changes in the Beach Re-nourishment

The proposed beach re-nourishment plan that was scheduled for 2008 has been postponed to 2009, primarily to have more time to raise money to expand the project. You can follow the news in the Galveston Daily News. Remember the link on this page.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

March Meeting

Hello to all Sunny Beachers

Haven’t updated the blog for a while, there wasn’t that much to talk about but that has changed.

First, check out the new sign. It was a great project. Thanks to those of you that took a roll in the design and construction. We have had compliments of the highest sort from other communities on the west end. They are wondering who made our sign; they would like to hire the company that was responsible. It really is a nice looking sign and it took a neighborhood to make it happen. I especially want to take this opportunity to thank Jacqueline Beckham the landowner that allowed us to put the sign on her property. The old sign was in a state of Texas’ easement and illegal.

On to other things;

The Rita replacement sand is finally on it’s way. It should happen very soon now, certainly before turtle nesting season in the spring. If you are new to Sunny Beach we applied for a state/federal grant in 2003. We were awarded a grant to do beach re-nourishment. It was matching funds grant, which meant we had to raise some of our own monies as a match to get the larger amounts from the CEPRA II (coastal erosion and protection response act) grant cycle. We had a very successful project. We raised $7500 and were able to place almost 10,000 cubic yards of sand on the beach in front of our neighborhood. Hurricane RITA (2005) did some damage to that sand placement. Because there were federal funds in the original grant, the project was protected by FEMA. We thought we would have to raise another match to get FEMA to help, but that is now not going to be necessary. FEMA will replace the sand that was taken during the storm event in 2005, which was about ½ of the original placement. So when you see the new placement it won’t be quite as much as you saw the first time but, it will be substantial. Surveyors were out just prior to the storm and just after so they have great data to rely on.

Now there is another large beach re-nourishment project in the works that you may have heard of by now. The state is going to widen by 200 feet and re-nourish the beach from the seawall to beach pocket # 3, about 3 Miles that includes Sunny Beach. That project will be happening next winter. They are trying to expand the project to include the entire island. One of the big stumbling blocks has been sand source but that now has been resolved. The 3-mile project WILL happen. The state needs to find additional sources of revenue to make the entire island project happen.

The coastal coordination council has asked us directly if we would be willing to donate the funds we would have had to collect for the RITA replacement sand match. That would be 10% of our project cost of $75,000 or $7,500. We need to discuss this at our March meeting and give them an answer. Included is the email from Jerry Mohn where the council made this recommendation.

Hi Tom – Glad to see the concrete structure removed. We are getting there.

At the Galveston County Beach Erosion Task Force meeting last week, we discussed the possibility of those subdivisions and condos who will receive sand to replace the material lost during Hurricane Rita, to consider the match funds they planned to use to go for the CEPRA V sand nourishment project from the end of the Seawall to 3 miles, which includes Sunny Beach. Initially, FEMA’s program in replacing the CEPRA II sand was 75/25 match then they changed to 90/10 and then 100% with no funds from the subdivision or condos.

The Task Force would like to recommend to the subdivisions and condos rather than use funds for any additional sand now to use the funds for this massive CEPRA V sand nourishment project planned by the GLO starting the end of this year. Since FEMA is paying 100% of the cost to replace the CEPRA II sand, your 10% or $7,710, that Sunny Beach planned as the match could be used for CEPRA V. Since Sunny Beach had these funds set aside, the GLO is looking for funds and this would be a great way to support their efforts. The GLO is waiting on an amended permit and they are ready to go with the sand replacement.

Appreciate if you could review with your Board to consider using the 10% match funds for the CEPRA V program. No problem if you would like to contribute more.

Many thanks again and please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information.


We can talk at the meeting about how I responded. We were thinking the second weekend in March, Saturday March 8, 2008.

Feel free to post opinions or comments.