CAMERON COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Cameron County officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Shoreline Protection Project Phases 3 & 4, and a new Educational Pavilion at the Adolph Thomae, Jr. County Park.

Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. said the Arroyo Colorado shoreline at the county park located east of Rio Hondo has lost at least 20 ft over the last two decades.

“By delaying in acting we’ve lost this shoreline. So, what we’re trying to do is preserve what we have left and create this existing shoreline,” said Treviño.

David A. Garza, the Cameron County Commissioner for precinct 3, said the erosion of the shoreline is a natural occurrence.

“We have barges that go by here on a very regular basis. Every time a barge goes by it creates a wake, that wake undermines the shoreline, and it causes stability issues for the shoreline,” said Garza.

He said that recreational boats are also a factor in the erosion, but said the project will help keep the water and land safe for visitors and the ecosystem.

Garza explained that articulated concrete block mattresses, concrete block walls, and habitat benches will be used to protect the shoreline.

“A habitat bench or an articulated concrete block mats, you create the opportunity for people to visit and fish off of these areas,” he said.

Garza explained that it takes a team of partners to work on these types of projects, but added funding is also important.

“It’s easy to apply for grants, but all grants have funding requirements. Every funding requirement comes with a different caveat of how that requirement can be met,” he said.

Treviño explained that the project was funded through local and state funds.

“The shoreline project is almost $2 million, about $1.8 to $1.9 million. and it’s a 60/40 match between the state at 60% and us at 40%. We put in money into all these particular projects, and even though it’s costing us over $750,000 we’re getting that $1.2 to $1.3 million back from the state,” he said.

In addition to the shoreline protection project, a new educational pavilion is being constructed.

“Soon we’ll have this pavilion that will accommodate student groups, volunteer groups, boys scout and girl scout groups, and any other groups that would like to come,” said Garza.

Both projects are in partnership with the Texas General Land Office.

Garza said the pavilion should be completed within 90 days and the Shoreline Protection Project will take about six to nine months.