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Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov [SA]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — March 8, 2004

Renovated Sabine Pass Battleground Re-Opening April 3

SABINE PASS, Texas — Sabine Pass Battleground State Park and Historic Site will be celebrating its grand re-opening April 3 after nearly a year of intensive construction and face-lifts.

The approximately $2 million project, which received funding through Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation and Grant Funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has made structural and aesthetic improvements while maintaining the integrity of the historic site.

Along the waterfront, a crumbling two-lane boat ramp was replaced with a four-lane ramp and dock system. Two of the new lanes are American Disabilities Act-accessible and attached to a floating dock. To protect boaters from wave-action from passing ships, TPWD also created a new boat basin off the Sabine River/Ship Channel. TPWD also re-built 1,400 feet of bulkhead along the Sabine River/Ship Channel, adding handrails and making it wheelchair-accessible. Breaks in the rails provide fishing and overlook stations.

Visitors to the park will be able to appreciate its history with improved access to the historical information and monuments. The existing interpretive kiosk, redoubt (a Civil War replica of an earthen embankment for protection) and Dick Dowling monument have easier, ADA-accessible walkways and rest stops leading up to them. Additional ADA-picnic sites have been provided and three of the original 10 overnight camping areas have been divided into two larger ADA-accessible campsites.

The 57-acre Sabine Pass Battleground State Park and Historic Site now caters to campers, anglers, boaters and tourists interested in learning about Texas’ wartime history. Back in 1863, however, it was the site of a fortress under attack during the Civil War, when Lt. Richard "Dick" Dowling stopped a Union armada from sailing up the Sabine River into Texas.

For more information about the park (located 15 miles south of Port Arthur) and construction, contact park manager Patrick Macouirk at (409) 971-2559 or patrick.macouirk@tpwd.texas.gov.

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