School Website: http://www.highislandisd.com
2018-2020 field trip data: HighIslandData2019-20.pdf
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).
The beach at HIB01 has seen significant changes since the profile was established in February 2016 (Fig. 2). On the first field trip, the beach had a steep forebeach, high berm, and a backbeach wide enough for vehicles to travel up and down the beach. 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 had experienced significant erosion, pavement debris was deposited at the vegetation line, and the elevated berm and backbeach that had once allowed vehicular access was gone. The beach width had recovered by the spring field trip of 2018. Since the start of the 2018–19 academic year, HIHS students have been unable to access the site at High Island Beach because of roadway construction at the intersection of Highway 87 and Texas 124. Since that time, the shoreline and vegetation line positions have seen significant changes, due in part to the impacts of the 2020 hurricane season. The profile site datum has been lost due to erosion of the beach at High Island. Between May 2018, last time HIHS students visited the site, and May 2021 the shoreline position moved landward 25 meters (just landward of the profile datum location) and the vegetation line moved 45 meters landward (Fig. 2).
HIHS students monitor sites two sites adjacent to Rollover Pass, BOL02 to the west and BOL03 to east. Rollover Pass was cut across Bolivar Peninsula in 1955 with the intention of improving water quality in Rollover Bay and Galveston East Bay. The opening of the pass caused significant erosion to the adjacent beaches and caused sand and sediment to be deposited in the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). For years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were required to dredge and remove sediment from the ICW adjacent to Rollover Bay annually at significant cost. Due to the issues caused by Rollover Pass, the Texas Legislature authorized the General Land Office to close the pass. Construction began at the end of September 2019 and was ongoing at the time of High Island High School’s second field trip in January 2020. Closure construction was completed in spring 2020. High Island students collected baseline data from BOL02 (Fig. 3) and BOL03 (Fig. 4) and will be monitoring how the closure of Rollover Pass impacts these beaches in the future.