To responsibly manage, advocate for and improve the ship channel and navigable waters of Jefferson County to enhance the economy, environment and quality of life in Southeast Texas.


As a political subdivision of Texas, the SNND responsibly and effectively:

  1. Waterway Commerce – Promotes and supports the maintenance of the Sabine-Neches Waterway in order to facilitate and sustain commerce in the ship channel for Southeast Texas and the nation.
  2. Taylor’s Bayou – Manages the saltwater barriers and flood control structures at Taylor’s Bayou.
  3. Waterway Security – Funds and shares responsibility for waterway security on the ship channel.

The SNND has operated in Jefferson County for over 100 years.

The navigation district was formed in 1909 and designated manager of the Taylor’s Bayou Saltwater Barrier. Later, that designation included acting as local non-Federal Sponsor to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Sabine-Neches Waterway.

The SNND is a responsible steward of the waterway.

  • Works closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on maintaining the waterway.
  • Provides dredge-spoil placement areas for levee construction and easement/lease maintenance.
  • Serves as a liaison between the Corps of Engineers and local industry regarding normal operations, new construction and expansion.
  • Works with the Corps of Engineers on appropriations acquisition, annual operations and maintenance of the waterway and new projects.
  • Provides channel alignment, land reclamation, drainage and erosion control for the Sabine-Neches Waterway, the Neches River and Taylor’s Bayou.
  • Operates saltwater barriers to control saltwater intrusion in the Taylor’s and Hildebrandt Bayous. These barriers also act as flood control gates for Jefferson County, which SNND uses to ensure proper drainage of rainwater.
  • Operates a Control Building with a modern control system to operate the floodgates and navigational locks on Taylor’s Bayou.


SNND’s obligations include:

  • Providing lands for the placement of dredged material and other real estate needs of the Sabine-Neches Project
  • Paying for the cost of raising levees around all project placement areas, except for placement areas specifically owned by the Corps of Engineers
  • As local sponsor, SNND’s cost share for the waterway lies in securing real estate rights for use as dredge spoil placement areas. This function includes obtaining local funds to finance the procurement of real estate, securing land rights and easements for land use and the designation of these lands for use as placement areas, and building the levees to hold the dredged materials.
  • Beyond the realm of the federal requirements, additional non-monetary factors often come into play with the securing of rights for use of the disposal areas as well, such as efforts to appease environmental and other special interest concerns.
  • On a local level, the navigation district owns locks and a saltwater barrier on Taylor’s Bayou and may also build and own port projects and facilities.
  • Maintaining the feasibility and designed depth of the Sabine-Neches Waterway by means of deepening, maintenance dredging, providing all necessary funding needed to maintain the levee system therein and marketing and actively seeking new clients to utilize the existing infrastructure.