Neches River

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Neches River
The KCS Railway bridge over the Neches River in Beaumont is a major transportation link for the region.
Neches Watershed.png
Map of the Neches River and associated watershed
Basin features
Main source East of Colfax, Texas[1]
32°30′N 95°45′W / 32.500°N 95.750°W / 32.500; -95.750[1]
River mouth Sabine Lake[1]
29°58′08″N 93°51′21″W / 29.96889°N 93.85583°W / 29.96889; -93.85583Coordinates: 29°58′08″N 93°51′21″W / 29.96889°N 93.85583°W / 29.96889; -93.85583
Basin size 10,011 sq mi (25,930 km2)[1]
Waterbodies Rhine Lake
Lake Palestine
Steinhagen Reservoir[1]
Physical characteristics
Length 416 mi (669 km)[1]

The Neches River (/ˈnz/) begins in Van Zandt County east of Rhine Lake[2] and flows for 416 miles (669 km) through east Texas to its mouth on Sabine Lake near the Rainbow Bridge. Two major reservoirs, Lake Palestine and B. A. Steinhagen Reservoir are located on the Neches. Several cities are located along the Neches River Basin, including Tyler, Lufkin, Silsbee, Evadale, Beaumont, Vidor, Port Neches, Nederland, Groves, and Port Arthur.

Untamed river[edit]

With the exception of the manmade lakes, much of the river is in a natural state. For example, from Lake B.A. Steinhagen down to Beaumont, the Neches River flows through the Big Thicket National Preserve. This important ecosphere preserves the area where several ecosystems converge - an event that harkens back to the last glacial period. The Big Thicket Visitor Center is off U.S. Highway 69 several miles north of Kountze.

The Lower Neches Valley Authority is the river authority which oversees the Neches River in Tyler, Hardin, Liberty, Chambers, and Jefferson counties of Texas.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service purchased land along the Neches River beginning in 2006 for the creation of the Neches River National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge includes land on which Dallas had proposed to build a reservoir to meet the water needs of the city and its surrounding suburbs. Tentatively named Lake Fastrill, this reservoir was not scheduled to be built until 2050. The city of Dallas and the Texas Water Development Board filed a lawsuit in 2007 against the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, claiming the wildlife refuge was established without considering the economic and environmental impacts. However, in February 2010 the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, paving the way for the acquisition of lands for the wildlife refuge.

Industrialized river[edit]

The lower forty miles of the river, from the Beaumont Interstate 10 bridge to Sabine Lake, is industrialized. The river is a deep water ship channel running between the Port of Beaumont to Sabine Lake. The channel is currently 40 feet deep and 400 ft wide, but is being deepened to 48 feet. The total estimated cost of the Sabine-Neches Waterway project is $1.1 billion.[3] Several petro-chemical plants are also located in the river's southern section. The Sabine-Neches Navigation District, formed in 1909, has management responsibilities of the portion of the river which is part of the Sabine-Neches Waterway.[4]

Views of the industrialized portion
Rainbow and Veteran's Memorial bridges near Sabine Lake
Rainbow and Veteran's Memorial bridges near river mouth 
Port of Beaumont
View of a portion of Port of Beaumont 
Port of Beaumont looking toward wharfs 5,6,&7
Port of Beaumont looking toward wharfs 5,6,&7 
Ground Soldiers take to the Sea from Port of Beaumont
Soldiers take to the Sea from Port of Beaumont 
1st Air Cavalry Brigade Takes Birds to Port of Beaumont
1st Air Cavalry Brigade Takes Birds to Port of Beaumont 
River view at one of the petro-chemical facilities
River view at one of the petro-chemical facilities 

Points of interest[edit]

The Port of Beaumont is located on the Neches River at Beaumont, Texas. It begins near the mouth of the river and the Rainbow Bridge (Texas).[5]

The Big Thicket National Preserve.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Neches River". Texas History Online. Retrieved October 23, 2015. 
  2. ^ "An Analysis of Texas Waterways". Texas Parks and Wildlife. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  3. ^ Dan Wallach (May 22, 2014). "Senate approves Sabine-Neches Project". Hearst Newspapers, LLC. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  4. ^ "SNND". Sabine-Neches Navigation District. Retrieved October 23, 2015. 
  5. ^

External links[edit]