Did you know that resacas are only found in the southern half of Cameron County? Besides Brownsville, only Los Fresnos and San Benito have resacas. Not only are they beautiful water features to our topography, they also serve as water reservoirs and provide surface drainage when we have heavy rains.
As Brownsville grows, it is important that we incorporate the city’s natural topography into the city’s infrastructure. The Brownsville Public Utilities Board (BPUB) has been working on restoring Brownsville’s resaca system for 17 years but only in the last 5 years has the project taken off. As a BPUB board member, Nurith Galonsky has supported this project and worked with staff to get more funding to dredge Brownsville’s resacas. Deeper and cleaner resacas will improve surface drainage, water quality, and our ability to store more rainwater during heavy rains.
The Problem with Brownsville’s Resacas
As Brownsville focused on development along the resacas, we began to neglect the ecosystems of these waterways. Growth and urbanization changed the resacas’ flooding path and drove off native flora and fauna.
Additionally, trash, sediment, and various forms of debris began to build up causing the resacas to become more shallow. Shallow resacas are prone to flooding more quickly which can lead to thousands of dollars in property damage.
Over the past few years, the Brownsville Public Utilities Board has built a great working relationship with US Representative Filemon Vela and US Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn.
With support from local, state and national community leaders, BPUB was able to secure funding for the resaca restoration. Amazingly, 65 percent of the total cost will be funded by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and BPUB will cover the remaining 35 percent.
The project will address various needs including sculpting the resaca bank to minimize erosion. Also, dredging of the waterways will take place in order to remove debris, trash, and sludge from the water thereby improving the water quality.
With healthy resacas, we can begin to use these channels to attract more tourism and develop the ecotourism sector in Brownsville. Most importantly, the restoration project will improve water flow, drainage, and water storage for our citizens.
As a BPUB board member,Nurith Galonsky Pizana has been honored to be in a position to make impactful decisions that will go a long way to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Brownsville. If elected as a City Commissioner for District 1, she will take everything she learned from her position as a board member to make meaningful changes in the community.
Image source: www.city-data.com