By admin ~ December 2nd, 2012. Filed under: Gulf Coast-West.
Perhaps one of the most interesting stretches of water on the Gulf Coast is the San Bernard River, which was once home to a fairly large fleet of shrimp boats. The San Bernard begins life as an underground spring, which comes to the surface just south of the small community of New Ulm, Texas. From there, it flows—sometimes—120 miles or so to the Gulf south of Freeport. I say “sometimes” because the San Bernard has had its problems. Many years ago, the Corps of Engineers closed off the natural outlet of the Brazos River a few miles inland to make the Freeport Harbor, and jettied the entrance channel that had once been the river’s mouth. An outlet canal was created to divert the fl ow of the Brazos south of Freeport a bit. All of these outlets—new and old Brazos and San Bernard—are connected and bisected by the ICW. As they say, it is sometimes not nice to mess with Mother Nature, and the San Bernard bore the brunt of the consequences. Sand from the beaches around Surfside, Texas, eroded from unnatural currents caused by the jetties and washed west on the fl ow of the “New” Brazos outlet, most of which eventually ended up in the mouth of the San Bernard. As far back as 2002, the river mouth was pretty much closed, although localized flooding would sometimes open it a bit. By 2007, a broad sand beach spanned across what used to be the mouth.