In 1992, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers re-diverted the Colorado River to flow into West Matagorda Bay, the river’s original entrance to the Gulf of Mexico. The re-diversion was engineered to increase the bay’s biological productivity with much-needed freshwater inflow. However, silt soon began accumulating in the river channel due to ocean under currents, creating problems for water travel, fishing and commerce along the route.
A solution to the influx of silt came with a Corps-designed jetty in Matagorda Bay. The new jetty would narrow the channel’s water flow to help clear the silt and trap the silt from an updrift direction. In addition, the jetty would detour the under currents to keep the Colorado River open for shipping, help control beach erosion and allow the waterway to remain open.