After a major oil spill in June 1979, Cedar Bayou was blocked to keep oil from entering Mesquite Bay. Multiple dredging attempts tried to reopen the passage, but it typically closed shortly after opening. After studying how to reopen the passage, Hatch Mott MacDonald recommended dredging a channel connecting Mesquite Bay and Vinson Slough to the Gulf of Mexico. In 2011, Aransas County secured a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to unblock the bayou. Excavation began in April 2014.

Approximately 540,000 cu yd of material were removed with a hydraulic dredge and excavators and transported to a nearby beneficial-use beach fill using off-road trucks and dredge pipeline. On Sept. 25, 2014, Cedar Bayou and nearby Vinson Slough were reconnected to the Gulf for the first time in more than 10 years.

Cedar Bayou Restoration

Rockport, Texas

Key Players
Aransas County
Lead Design Firm Hatch Mott MacDonald
General Contractor RLB Contracting Inc.