STUDY RECOMMENDS STORM SURGE PROTECTION
MEASURES FOR UPPER TEXAS COAST
Phase 3 Report Provides a Framework for a Plan
Houston, Texas: The Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District, Inc. (GCCPRD) has identified a compelling need for a storm surge protection system on the upper Texas Coast. The Storm Surge Suppression Study Phase 3 Report: Recommended Actions identifies the preferred regional alternatives across the North Region - Orange and Jefferson counties, Central Region - Galveston, Chambers and Harris counties and South Region - Brazoria County and Galveston County (vicinity of San Luis Pass). The report establishes a framework for a plan and calls local, state and federally elected officials to become advocates for coastal protection. This technical report was reviewed and unanimously approved by the GCCPRD Board of Directors on Wednesday, June 22, 2016. "We are glad to see that this study is getting us closer to a consensus plan and look forward to moving on to the next phase of this project," said Former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels, President of the GCCPRD. "This plan is a big step on the way to better protecting the citizens of Galveston County and the upper Texas coast from future storm surge events. The GCCPRD will continue to work with academia, community leaders and elected officials to move from planning to design and construction," added Galveston County Judge Mark Henry, Chair of the GCCPRD Board of Directors. The Storm Surge Suppression Study Phase 3 Report: Recommended Actions is now online at the GCCPRD website (www.gccprd.com). The GCCPRD Study Area Plan is composed of the following recommended regional alternatives:
The total cost for for implementing the GCCPRD study area coastal protection plan is $11.6 billion. The total damage caused by Hurricane Ike alone was over $30 billion. The upper Texas Coast has a population of more than six million people, generates over 31 percent of the state's $1.4 trillion gross domestic product and has a significant role in our nation's energy industry and our national security. In comparison, the federal government invested $14.5 billion in hurricane protection for New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina to protect a population of 900,000 people.
The upper Texas Coast has a population of more than six million people, generates over 31 percent of the state's $1.4 trillion gross domestic product and has a significant role in our nation's energy industry and our national security. In comparison, the federal government invested $14.5 billion in hurricane protection for New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina to protect a population of 900,000 people. In addition to GCCPRD Board approval of the Phase 3 Report on Wednesday, the Board also accepted an additional Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant from the Texas General Land Office to continue the Storm Surge Suppression Study. Phase Four of the study will include the following actions:
- Optimize the recommended alternatives to better estimate costs and benefits
- Update depth damage curves for petrochemical facilities via economic analysis
- Complete the extended benefits analysis
- Conduct additional environmental studies
- Continue public outreach and stakeholder engagements
Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District, Inc. Following three major hurricanes, the last of which (Hurricane Ike) was the most expensive in Texas' history, Governor Rick Perry issued an Executive Order creating the Governor's Commission for Disaster Recovery and Renewal. One of the Commission's recommendations was to conduct a study to determine how coastal communities can reduce the damaging impact of future storms. In conjunction with that recommendation, Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Harris, Jefferson, and Orange Counties formed the GCCPRD as a local government corporation. The GCCPRD is now leading the Storm Surge Suppression Study, a technical, scientific-based effort to investigate opportunities to alleviate the vulnerability of the upper Texas coast to storm surge and flooding.
The Storm Surge Suppression Study is funded by the Texas General Land Office through a $3.9 million federal Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant awarded in September 2013. Since then, the GCCPRD has collected and analyzed existing data and collaborated with other organizations and universities conducting similar work. The study yielded a system of alternatives that consisted of a variety of natural, structural, and nonstructural methods. Using these findings, the GCCPRD issued the Phase 3 report recommending a cost-effective and efficient storm surge suppression system to help protect the six-county region, providing a framework for a plan and calling elected officials to become advocates for coastal protection. With this effort, the GCCPRD assumed a leadership role and worked collaboratively with federal, state, local, and public and private institutions to develop a plan that meets the needs of the region and the nation.