Ball High School

School Website:

2022-2023 field trip data: BallHS2022-23_v2.pdf

Galleries: 2017-2018  |  2018-2019  |  2019-2020  |  2020-2021  |  2021-2022  |  2022-2023  |  2023-2024

Ball High School students conduct surveys at Galveston Island State Park, BEG02 (Fig. 1)—a profile that the Bureau has been measuring since the 1980’s. Ball High students also collect data at JAM02 in Jamaica Beach and DEL01 at the Dellanera RV Park (Fig. 1). Both of these sites monitor beach nourishment and Coastal Erosion Planning and Response Act (CEPRA) beach and dune restoration activities.

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Figure 1. Location map of Ball High School monitoring sites

Students from Ball High School on Galveston Island have been collecting critical data since 1997. The data are used by Bureau scientists to increase understanding of beach and dune impacts and recovery stages following major storms. During the 23-years Ball students have participated in THSCMP, numerous storms with varying intensities have caused impacts to the beaches of Galveston Island including the following: Tropical Storms Frances (1998), Allison (2001), and Fay (2002) and Hurricanes Claudette (2003), Rita (2005), and Ike (2008). Ball High School data collection from the BEG02 profile site at Galveston Island State Park documented how much the beach and dunes changed after Ike and the recovery of the beach and dune system (Fig. 2). At the BEG02 site, the foredune has re-established, and a wide vegetated zone with expanding coppice dunes developed between the seaward base of the foredunes and the landward extent of wave run-up. After the 2020 hurricane season, the beach was eroded landward and a washover feature was deposited in the coppice dune area (Fig. 2).

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Figure 2. Hurricane Ike impacts and beach and dune recovery at BEG02 in Galveston Island State Park. (A) Beach-profile plots from BEG02 comparing the post–Hurricane Ike profile with a pre-storm profile from early 2008 and the post–Tropical Storm Frances profile from September 1998. Data from September 2009 (1-year post-storm) is also included. (B) Photo of Galveston Island State Park after landfall of Hurricane Ike showing beach and dune erosion and damage to park infrastructure. (C) Beach profile plots from October 2007 through November 2021 showing the recovery of the beach and dune system following hurricane Ike. (D) Photo from November 17, 2021 looking northeast of the vegetated coppice dunes at the park. Notice the toe of the washover feature.

 Hurricane Harvey in 2017 had minimal impacts to the beach and dune system on Galveston Island but the 2020 hurricane season did cause beach and dune erosion. The dune at the Dellanera RV Park that was created as part of a large nourishment and dune restoration project that took place in 2015, experienced significant erosion between January 2020 and May 2021 (Fig.3). Over half the volume of sand in the beach/dune system was removed. Ball student monitoring also documented changes to a dune and vegetation restoration project at site JAM02 in Jamaica Beach (Fig. 4). 

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Figure 3. Monitoring of changes at DEL01 at the Bellanera RV Park on Galveston Island. (A) Vegetation line positions and (B) beach profile data between October 2016 and April 2023. (C) Photos looking northeast along the vegetation line from January 28, 2020 and May 19, 2021. The 2020 hurricane season caused significant erosion of the beach and dune. Note the scarped dune and narrow beach in the second picture.

Figure 4

Figure 4. Monitoring of changes at JAM02 in Jamaica Beach, community adjacent to Galveston Island State Park. (A) Vegetation line positions between October 2015 and April 2023 and (B) beach profile data between April 2019 and January 2023. (C) Photos looking northeast along the vegetation line from October 7, 2015 and November 17, 2021. The 2020 hurricane season caused erosion of the small reconstructed dune and landward movement of the vegetation line. Palm fronds have been placed along the vegetation line in the second photo to trap windblown sand to promote dune growth.

Figure 5

Figure 5. GPS-mapped shoreline positions at Babe’s Beach on Galveston Island.


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