University of Texas at Austin

THSCMP-High Island High School

High Island High School joined THSCMP in early 2016. Tenth grade biology students collect data from three sites on Bolivar Peninsula. Two of the monitoring sites are adjacent to Rollover Pass, BOL02 to the west and BOL03 to the east of the Pass (Fig. 1). The third site (HIB01) is seaward of High Island just past the eastern end of Highway 87 (Fig. 1).

High Island beach erosion

Figure 1. Location map of High Island High School monitoring sites.

The beach at HIB01 has seen significant changes during the school’s short monitoring period. On our first field trip in February 2016 the beach had a steep forebeach, high berm, and a backbeach wide enough for vehicles to use to travel up and down the beach (Fig. 2). Large pieces of pavement that are remnants of Highway 87 were at the upper reach of the swash zone. The October 2017 field trip took place about a month after Hurricane Harvey impacted the Texas Gulf coast. The beach experienced significant erosion (Fig. 2). Pavement debris was deposited at the vegetation line. Due to extreme high tides the area was experiencing, wave run-up was covering the entire forebeach. The elevated berm and backbeach that allowed vehicular access to points north, was gone in October 2017. High Island students will continue to monitor this location to determine of the beach recovers at this location.

High Island besach erosion

Figure 2. Changes at the HIB01 monitored High Island beach site.