River bed depths in front of River Grove Boat Launch

River Grove Boat Launch Silting In Again

After being dredged twice since Hurricane Harvey in 2017, the River Grove boat launch is silting in again already. Recently, boaters started sending in pictures of boats that ran aground before reaching the main channel of the San Jacinto West Fork.

Increasingly Frequent Need for Dredging

The Army Corps dredged the area by the boat launch in December 2018 to open a path for the Kingwood Diversion Ditch (which runs through the park) to reach the West Fork.

Kayden Industries dredged it again in 2020 as part of an effort to clean out sediment deposits in front of the park’s riverfront boardwalk.

Before that, the Kingwood Service Association (KSA) used to dredge the area in front of the docks every 8-10 years, according to Ethel McCormick of Kingwood Association Management.

But now, less than four years after the last dredging, KSA had to commission a new side-scan sonar survey because of increasingly frequent complaints of groundings. The survey showed the entrance to the river channel has only 1-2 feet of depth.

Current River Bottom Depths

The area immediately in front of the docks has more depth than the area where the channel reaches the river. That suggests the main source of the sediment likely came from upriver, rather than from the Diversion Ditch. See below.

River bed depths in front of River Grove Boat Launch

Area in front of River Grove Boat Launch. River-bed depths calculated by HK Dredging in hydrographic survey dated 2/23/24. Note depths at bottom of frame.

Next Steps

KSA presented the results of the survey to its member associations at a Parks Committee Meeting on March 7, 2024. At the time of the meeting, KSA had only had time to obtain one bid. So, the committee took no action. But members agreed that something needed to be done quickly and agreed to look for additional dredging proposals.

As of this writing, KSA is exploring additional options. More news to follow as recommendations firm up. The KSA Parks Committee meets the first Thursday of every month at 7PM. In April, the full KSA Board will also have a quarterly meeting and could approve any major expenditures from the Parks Reserve Fund.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/12/2024

2387 Days since Hurricane Harvey