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Posted on: September 2, 2020

GLO approves expedited emergency beachfront construction permits

Hurricane Laura made landfall around 1:00am on August 27, 2020. Although Galveston Island was spared the worst, the storm surge (estimated as high as 4 feet) did remove or redistribute sand and dunes along Galveston Island’s beachfront.

On September 1, 2020 at 3:10pm the General Land Office informed the City that they have adopted emergency rules which allow local jurisdictions such as the City of Galveston to expedite the beachfront construction and dune protection permitting process for emergency dune restoration activities. These emergency rules are effective for 120 days, or until December 30, 2020.

The emergency rules apply to dune restoration projects only to allow homeowners to restore dunes to minimize further threat or damage to coastal residents and littoral property. 


September 1, 2020 Memo from the General Land Office

Hurricane Laura Emergency Rules 31 TAC 15.19

Application Form:

Property owners that intend to complete an emergency dune restoration project should review, complete and fill out the following application form.

Hurricane Laura Emergency Dune Restoration Application

Additional documentation on pre-hurricane condition of the dunes, as well as a description of the proposed materials and a plan showing the proposed dune restoration project are also required.

The property owner will also be required to turn in photographs documenting the work once it is completed.

Any work that exceeds or is in violation of these emergency rules may be subject to additional Beachfront Construction Certificate/Dune Protection Permit requirements, or may be required to be modified or removed if it is in violation of these emergency rules or the City’s Dune Protection and Beach Access Plan.


 Dune restoration projects should consist of beach quality sand which has a similar grain size and mineralogy as the surrounding beach, and organic brushy materials can also be used (including seaweed).

The following materials are prohibited for use in a dune restoration project, and therefore cannot be used in an emergency dune restoration project: 

  • Sand that is not beach quality
  • Clay
  • Sediments containing hazardous substances
  • Sandbags, bulkheads or other erosion response structures
  • Rip rap, concrete, asphalt rubble, building construction materials
  • Any other non-biodegradable items
  • Sand scraped from eroding beach areas or from dunes is also prohibited

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