Houston $3 billion floodgate proposed for Galveston Bay Land commissioner joins academics in urging action to guard from storms
By Eric Berger
September 1, 2015 Updated: September 1, 2015 12:02am
Academic leaders have long beseeched government officials to learn from the damage caused by Hurricane Ike in 2008 and harden the upper Texas coast against future threats.
Finally, on Monday, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study the feasibility of projects to limit flood and storm surge damage.
"It is time to take action," said Bush, who came into office in January. "This has been a priority of mine since the campaign."
That effort will build upon several previous studies, including one to be released Tuesday, which have found that a gate system in Galveston Bay, costing less than $3 billion, could provide protection from future hurricanes for $37 billion in chemical and other facilities along the Houston Ship Channel, as well as$9 billion in residential property.
These academic studies, funded by the Houston Endowment and managed by academic leaders from Rice University, the University of Houston, Texas A&M University at Galveston and other institutions, have presented a range of options to protect the coast.
*** The latest possibility calls for building a floodgate across the Ship Channel near San Leon.
*** This "mid-bay" gate would be tied to an extensive network of man-made reefs and island berms, most of which already exist, to safeguard not only industry along the Ship Channel but also homes in rapidly developing areas such as League City along the west side of Galveston Bay.
But while the academic community has built a case for action in the wake of Hurricane Ike, no public officials had taken up their cause despite the inevitability of a future strike.
Houston's mayor was lukewarm, while county officials simply weren't interested. The same went for state officials until Monday's announcement by Bush.
"What we haven't had is one or two champions," said Phil Bedient, director of Rice University's Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters Center.
It's likely no officials have stepped up because they don't want to foot the bill for a proactive project, which is why Bedient and other academic leaders welcome the intervention of Bush.
Working with the Army Corps of Engineers, Bedient said, a state leader like Bush could build a coalition that includes contributions from industry as well as local, state and federal governments.
Bush said he recognizes the challenges of trying to be proactive - rather than reactive - in government, and the difficulty of convincing all of Texas that a coastal project will benefit the whole state. However, he said, one-quarter of Texans live along the coast, and the state also has one-quarter of the nation's refining capacity.
He said the General Land Office, with its responsibility for submerged lands, oil spill response and coastal issues, is the best suited agency to lead the effort.
Since Hurricane Ike and its devastating surge, the academic community has offered several solutions to preventing a worst-case scenario, in which a hurricane makes landfall south of Galveston and pushes a massive wall of water into Galveston Bay.
Such a surge would inundate many homes in the Clear Lake area as well as the chemical industry along the Ship Channel.
Shortly after Hurricane Ike, William Merrell, a Texas A&M-Galveston oceanographer, proposed the "Ike Dike," a series of levees and gates to protect Galveston Island and the entire Galveston Bay area.
But such a system could cost as much as $10 billion, and environmentalists worried it would damage the Galveston Bay ecosystem.
So Bedient, along with Houston environmental lawyer Jim Blackburn and others, proposed a "Centennial Gate" at the mouth of the Ship Channel. This project, estimated to cost about $2.8 billion, would have protected the chemical industry but not many residential areas.
Now, in their latest analysis, Bedient and Blackburn offered a third option, the mid-bay gate, which would cost about as much as the Centennial Gate but also protects the heavily developed western side of Galveston Bay.
Blackburn said this alternative was developed after concerns were raised about the Centennial Gate not mitigating risk for residential areas in Clear Lake.
"We think this is a major step forward in terms of the discussion on what to do," Blackburn said.
Over the next year the academic researchers will finalize reports on the local options, including environmental impacts.
With the intervention of Bush and the Army Corps, it's now possible those reports will be more than academic.
Science Writer, Houston Chronicle
From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2015 12:16 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
Subject: re-Protecting the Gulf Coast matter of national security Congressman Randy Weber
Greetings Galveston Daily News et al,
I wish to kindly submit the following, in reply to ;
re-Protecting the Gulf Coast matter of national security Congressman Randy Weber GDN Thursday August 27, 2015. ...
so soon some forget. New Orleans survived Hurricane Katrina, what New Orleans did not survive was the Army Corp of Eng. and the Levee failures there from, and it does not take a rocket scientist to know, if you build a town in the bottom of a bowl, your going to have problems. we all have known since Hurricanes Katrina and Ike and before, that this community needs a storm wall at the coast to protect us all, thus, the TAMU Ike Dike was proposed to protect all of Galveston Bay, and everyone inside of it. Since then, corporate politics have taken the forefront, and science was sent to the rear of the bus. now it seems that all anyone is interested in is protecting Houston and the Petro Chemical Ship Channel, and all some of us have become is collateral damage, as those of us living east of state highway 146 from Texas City to La Porte, and everyone in-between. it’s been a decade since Katrina and about 7 years or so since Ike, and here we still sit, waiting for another study, and you can see the writing on the wall, the only thing they are waiting on is a study that only protects the Houston Ship study and Houston, yet hangs everyone out to dry east of State Hwy 146, to make way for a tourist recreational land on our old homesteads. those plans my fine neighbors and friends are already in the drawings, and that’s no joke. why should any of us pay to protect only the petro and chemical plants, with something that could completely wash us away? Personally, if there cannot be a IKE Dike that protects all of us, then I would rather have no Dike at al, if the only other alternative was the SSPEED Rice Dike Centennial Gate at Fred Harman Bridge, and or the Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area (LSCNRA, which is the RICE DIKE in disguise, don’t take the bait). we all may as well write our social security numbers on our arms now, because damming up the North End of Galveston bay, and surrounding Bayous and inlets, with the SSPEED Rice Dike proposal will only cause tsunami’s for surrounding coastal communities. we saw that during Hurricane Ike, without the North End of Galveston bay being dammed up. so, my final question, if the SSPEED Rice Dike is put forth, that only protects the Houston Ship Channel Petro Chemical complex’s, and by it’s own construction assuredly puts all of our lives at a much higher risk that live around the adjacent shoreline communities, and the Ike Dike which would protect us all is tabled, will it then be Rice University, the big petro chemical oil machine, the Port of Houston, the GLO and the Army Corp of Eng. be responsible for killing all those that were left as collateral damage living on and around the adjacent shore lines of Galveston Bay when the next big one hits? You can blame stupid on a Hurricane. ...
*** Furthermore, this proposal leaves waterfront properties and communities east of SH- 146 vulnerable; however, it maintains the possibility of waterfront recreation and other environmental and natural coastal features.
page 11, the building and writing off of all surrounding coastal communities for a new recreational tourist attraction $$$
Thursday, November 27, 2014
IKE DIKE VS RICE DIKE PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT PLEASE WRITE IN SUPPORT OF TAMU IKE DIKE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
*** Ike Dike Scientist Professor William Merrell sees NO chance of compromise !
Monday, April 15, 2013
Hurricane Ike: 5 Years Later Conference Rice Dike Proposal September 24-25, 2013
Sunday, June 9, 2013
RICE DIKE AND IKE DIKE ARE RIVALS NO MORE, AND HAS BACKED OFF THE PROPOSAL OF A 20-MILE 25 FOOT LEVEE ALONG SH 146
Monday, November 18, 2013
Is your community just collateral damage? RICE DIKE VS IKE DIKE
Friday, December 6, 2013
IKE DIKE TAMU VS Rice SSPEED Dike Centennial gate from Hell
October 10, 2012
IKE DIKE PROPOSED BY RICE UNIVERSITY hangs our Bayshore communities out to dry, IN 25 FEET OF WATER, to make way for WATERFRONT RECREATION $$$
Sunday, December 9, 2012
*** RICE DIKE PROPOSAL COULD DESTROY GALVESTON BAY BAYSHORE COMMUNITIES
Hurricane Ike here is a view from our pier back to the garage apartment, the garage, and the main house, the day before Hurricane Ike. video scans down shoreline in front of your house James and Tammy, and then, about halfway through the video, after a big wave came crashing over the top of the hill, I went in, still well before landfall of Ike, the pier went 12 hours before Ike made landfall, or there abouts. then the video picks of the day after. HURRICANE IKE bonnie and terry day before and the day after IKE Bacliff 77518
HURRICANE IKE Bacliff, two days later, see a video from our neighbors yard, looking back to our gutted out apartment ‘mother-in-laws-house’ and garage, (see how high tide still is along Bacliff shoreline), and the big rocks in neighbors backyard and pool.
say no to the RICE DIKE and or any Centennial Gate across the end of Galveston Bay at Fred Hartman Bridge, including the Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area (LSCNRA, which is the RICE DIKE in disguise, don’t take the bait). ...
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Proposed Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area or Rice Dike Post Hurricane Land Grab in Disguise or Has There Been a Ike Dike Game Change Plan ?
Terry S. Singeltary Sr. P.O. Box 42 Bacliff, Texas USA 77518 firstname.lastname@example.org.