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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

DOI

https://doi.org/10.21112/ita.2019.1.17

Abstract

BOB Hydrographics, LLC conducted a marine geophysical survey and archaeological assessment of a proposed construction access channel in Galveston County, on behalf of HDR Engineering, Inc. A proposed 25-acre bay access channel would cross portions of State Mineral Lease Tracts, West Bay 59, 65 and 66 in West Galveston Bay. The channel would provide construction access to build a breakwater for the Galveston Island State Park Marsh Protection and Restoration Project, sponsored by the General Land Office. An archaeological survey was requested by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, based on their review of Permit Application SWG-1998-02298. Consultation between the Texas Historical Commission and the Galveston District concluded that archaeological survey only would be required for the channel providing access from the bay to the island and not for areas adjacent and including the proposed breakwaters. The area of potential effect encompasses 70 acres, including a 50-meter buffer mandated by the Texas Historical Commission around the proposed channel. A review of cultural background determined that 1 marine archaeological investigation and, at least, 1 wreck have been reported within 3 miles of the survey area.

BOB completed a marine geophysical survey on May 9, 2019 under Texas Antiquities Permit 8906. A total of 140 acres was surveyed to provide options for adjusting the route if necessary. Water depth at the time of the survey ranged from 4 to 9 feet. BOB assessed all geophysical data to locate archaeological sites potentially affected by construction of the access channel. No artifacts were collected during the survey. No significant geophysical targets were discovered that might be potentially eligible for the State Antiquities Landmark or for the National Register of Historic Places. BOB recommends cultural resource clearance for all areas surveyed, provided that a THC-mandated 50-meter buffer is honored around the perimeter of the survey area.

This study was completed in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (Public Law 89-665; 16 U.S.C. 470) and the Antiquities Code of Texas (Texas Natural Resource Code, Title 9, Chapter 191). The minimum reporting and survey requirements for marine archaeological studies conducted under a Texas Antiquities Permit are mandated by The Texas Administrative Code, Title 13, Part 2, Chapters 26 and 28, respectively. Project records are curated at the Center for Archaeological Studies at Texas State University in San Marcos.

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