History of the Lydia Ann Channel
In the last years of the nineteenth century and early years of the twentieth century, a variety of navigation improvements were undertaken in the vicinity of the project area (Lydia Ann Channel). These included channel dredging and, particularly, jetty construction, the latter undertaken mainly to stabilize the position of the Aransas Pass entrance. The town of Corpus Christi eventually eclipsed all of the towns around Aransas Bay as a port, and navigation improvements were principally implemented to obtain navigation from Aransas Pass south to Corpus Christi. As a result, commercial traffic through Lydia Ann Channel was not extremely heavy until the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway was extended through it, beginning in 1909 (Alperin 1977:156). Since that time, the GIWW through Lydia Ann Channel has been dredged several times, and it is now heavily traveled by commercial barge traffic as well as local fishing and recreational vessels. *
Why the Lydia Ann Channel Fleet is here?
LAC Fleet was established by a group of local businessmen who saw the need for a safe and controlled place to moor the many push boats and barges that wait to be called into the Port of Corpus Christi.
With over 34 billion dollars in industrial projects in the works in the Corpus Christi Area, an increase in barge traffic in the Lydia Ann Channel is inevitable. Prior to the establishment of LAC Fleet, barges were pushed up along the banks of San Jose’ Island by push boats that were then forced to keep their engines running continuously so that the barges would not drift. This wasted thousands of gallons of fuel, damaged the sea grasses, and eroded the shoreline. The fleet is monitored around the clock and operates under a Coast Guard approved safety and security plan.
LAC Fleet worked with the Army Corp of Engineers, The General Land Office, The United States Coast Guard, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, The Environmental Protection Agency, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas Historical Society, and Homeland Security to ensure that LAC Fleet fulfills a maritime need that has been lacking for years and at the same time protects the environment of the Lydia Ann Channel.
*Pearson, Charles. Phase I Marine Cultural Resources Remote-Sensing Survey Of a Proposed Mooring Area in Lydia Ann Channel, Aransas County Texas. December 2014.