On 26 October 2018, the Texas General Land Office (GLO) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announce the release of the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Study Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement, a milestone in the effort to reduce the risk along the Texas coast from dangerous storm surges and other threats.
Since 2015, GLO and USACE have worked cooperatively on a first-of-its-kind feasibility study formulating risk reduction solutions to address coastal storm risks to the vast and important Texas coastline. A copy of the report can be downloaded here.
“Texas is not a state that happens to have a coast, Texas is a true coastal state,” said Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. “One storm can cost many lives and billions of dollars in damage, so the expense of doing nothing far outweighs the investment to protect and enhance our coast. Texas’ coast is home to one in every four Texans and 30% of the American oil refining sector resides here. The Coastal Texas Study is about protecting our people, our economy and our national security. The options selected are proven to be effective in mitigating the deadly effects of storm surge on our state. I thank the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and look forward to continuing this vital cooperative effort.”
“The Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Feasibility Study builds on the work of scientists, engineers and other experts from Rice University’s Severe Storm Prediction and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center, Texas A&M University Galveston (TAMUG), Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District (GCCPRD),” said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District Commander Col. Lars Zetterstrom. This is the only study to fully identify the environmental impacts and required mitigation of the proposed plan. The study also includes results and lessons learned from methods used to mitigate the dangerous impacts of floods and storm surges worldwide.”
The draft environmental impact statement released includes the Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) which uses a multiple lines of defense strategy to reduce risks to our communities and infrastructure along the entire Texas coastline. The TSP develops an integrated comprehensive plan for the coast of Texas that includes constructing surge gates to reduce coastal storm damage risks to the Houston Ship Channel, levees along Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston Island, beach and dune renourishment along the lower coast, and nine landscape scale ecosystem restoration projects to increase resilience and reduce risks to the coast of Texas. The features will work together to greatly increase the resiliency of the Texas Coast. The estimated cost is $23 to $31 billion.
The Coastal Texas Study complies with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and considers the impacts the project will have on natural, economic, social and cultural resources. The GLO and USACE entered into a cooperative agreement to create the Coastal Texas Study in 2015. The final feasibility report and EIS is expected in 2021. The community is invited to review the plans and participate in a series of public meetings:
27-Nov | 5:30pm – 9:00pm | Port LaVaca Bauer Community Center 2300 TX-35 Port Lavaca, TX 77979
28-Nov| 5:30pm – 9:00pm |Corpus Christi Harte Research Institute Texas A&M Corpus Christi 6300 Ocean Dr Corpus Christi, TX 78412
29-Nov | 5:30pm – 9:00pm | Port Isabel Port Isabel Event & Cultural Center 309 Railroad Ave Port Isabel, TX 78578
11-Dec | 5:30pm – 9:00pm | Winnie Winnie Community Building 335 South Park Street Winnie, TX 77665
12-Dec | 5:30pm – 9:00pm | Galveston Galveston Island Convention Center 5600 Seawall Blvd Galveston, TX 77551
18-Dec | 5:30pm – 9:00pm | Seabrook Bay Area Community Center 5002 E NASA Parkway Seabrook, TX 77586
Public comments can be provided at: 1) the Public Meetings noted above; 2) mailed to USACE, Galveston District, Attn: Mrs. Jennifer Morgan, Environmental Compliance Branch, Regional Planning and Environmental Center, P.O. Box 1229, Galveston, TX 77553-1229; or 3) emailed to [email protected]. Comments must be postmarked by 9 January 2019.