GALVESTON, Texas -- Summer is nearly here, and your family might be among the 6.5 million people expected to visit Galveston this year.

Now, there’s more to enjoy.

On Thursday, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, Galveston Park Board, City of Galveston officials and parts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency celebrated the completion of a $19.5 million beach expansion project.

Corey Camren’s family is visiting Galveston from Oklahoma. Sitting on part of the newly widened beach, Camren’s grandchildren splash in the water.

“Being down here with my grandkids, and my wife playing in the sun and sand, eating good at night,” Camren said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

The grandfather savors the moment, snapping a picture of his two grandchildren in the water. Without beach replenishment, these memories would also wash away.

“That’s a big deal, it’s a huge deal,” said Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce Director, Gina Spagnola.

Beach replenishment between 12th and 61st streets started 18 months ago. After investing $19.5 million, 1 million cubic feet of sand was pumped out of the gulf, widening the beach by 150 feet.

“Our research shows this is the largest beach nourishment project ever accomplished in Texas State history,” Bush said.

Three miles of wider beaches means more room to play for families like the Camren’s, who regularly drive 8 hours to spend time in Galveston.

“It’s worth every bit to us,” Camren said.

Galveston officials and Bush are taking strides to secure more funding for similar beach replenishment programs in the future.