The results of three-dimensional modeling of the planned -54’ Ship Channel (CIP 1) and the proposed incremental deepening to -75’ (from the Gulf of Mexico to Harbor Island) indicated that neither project will result in adverse impact to tidal amplitude or velocity. The projected increase (from -54 or -75?) in tidal amplitude would be less than one inch in Redfish Bay and less than one half inch in Aransas, Copano, Corpus Christi, and Nueces Bays during the spring tide period. In other periods, the increase would be even less.
Modeling projected a decrease in tidal velocity in the entrance channel during spring tides from 5.0 fps to 4.4 fps and overall average slowing of tidal velocity from 2.0 fps to 1.7 fps. In the areas of the bays away from the channel, the largest change would be a slight increase of less than 0.5 fps with values less than 0.1 fps prevailing throughout the bays. The average tidal velocities in the bay currently range from 0.07 fps to 1.67 fps and the peak velocities in the entrance channel and pass range from 0.1 fps to 3.8 fps.
The Port has also contracted the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at TAMU-CC to conduct additional three-dimensional modeling of the potential effects of improvements to the Ship channel on storm surge, tide, and salinity; once available, the results of this work will be posted on this website.