Texas Sea Grant Assists with New Water Level Sensors Installed in Calhoun County 

August 16, 2023

CALHOUN COUNTY, Texas — In partnership with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science (CBI), Texas Sea Grant extension agent RJ Shelly has helped successfully install a water level sensor on Ocean Drive, near Calhoun County’s Magnolia Beach. Data collected from this sensor will be used by researchers at CBI to build an AI predictive model for Ocean Drive flooding in high tide conditions, making it safer for first responders and residents of Magnolia Beach. 

“When we get high tides [on Ocean Drive] it becomes a huge public safety issue,” said Calhoun County Coastal and Marine Resources Agent RJ Shelly. “Having a model like this here can prevent people from driving into a flooded roadway, or even help first responders get to a scene quicker if they know this particular road is going to be flooded and they need to plan a different route.”

This installation was supported by Calhoun County for CBI’s AI2ES project. Throughout the rest of 2023 and into 2024, Texas Sea Grant will install more local sensors through NOAA funding and work with partners to collect data for the predictive model at Ocean Drive. 

“We are excited to provide support to local communities and use advanced AI technologies for early warning systems development in Texas,” said Texas Sea Grant Coastal Resilience Program Director Debalina Sengupta. “The opportunities for local emergency decisions are best taken when supported with reliable data and these installations are demonstrations in that direction.”