Neches River Saltwater Barrier

The Neches River has an impressive saltwater barrier near its mouth at Beaumont, Texas.

Saltwater historically didn’t reach that far up into the river, but construction of a barge canal between the Sabine and Neches, providing access for large ships from the Gulf of Mexico, opened the door for the saltwater wedge to reach farther inland.
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Even then, saltwater intrusion only seasonally becomes a problem when the freshwater flow in the Neches starts to bottom out. I don’t know the exact flow rate when that happened, but it was probably around a few thousand cubic feet per second, a condition that most typically occurs in the summer and fall.
That puts industrial water users, the city of Beaumonts water supply, not to mention the ecology of the river and its riparian corridor at risk.

I was amazed by the diveristy of wetland habitats along the riparian corridor just upstream of the barriers, including sloughs and canoeable cypress forests.

A temporary barrier, put in and taken out seasonally, had been used to correct the problem for the past few decades, but finally in 2003 the new permanent structure was completed, in cooperation between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Lower Neches Valley Authority.
Could such a structure be in store in the future for the Caloosahatchee in response to sea level rise?

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