STORM SURGE SUPPRESSION STUDY WINS GOLD and SILVER MEDALS
ACEC Texas Engineering Excellence Competition Awards a First and Second Place to Study
Houston, Texas: The Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District’s (GCCPRD) Upper Texas Coastal Hurricane Storm Surge Suppression Study (Study) was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal for Studies, Research and Consulting Engineering Services and the Silver Medal for the Environmental category by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Texas in their Engineering Excellence Awards Competition. The competition has been held by ACEC of Texas since its inception in 1975 to honor and recognize outstanding achievements within the engineering community.
“This recognition is a great honor, and we look forward to seeing these award-winning plans through to reality. These storm surge suppression measures are vital for the quality of life and future of our many coastal residents,” said Former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels, President of the GCCPRD. “This study started by using existing research and data and built upon that strong foundation with additional research, cost-benefit analysis and meetings in the community. It is very special to see the work recognized by such a prestigious engineering peer group, and we look forward to the next steps towards building a cost-effective and efficient storm surge suppression system to help protect our community,” added Galveston County Judge Mark Henry, Chair of the GCCPRD Board of Directors.
The Storm Surge Suppression Study is funded by the Texas General Land Office (GLO) through a $3.9 million federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 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. In June 2016, the GCCPRD issued the Storm Surge Suppression Study Phase 3 Report: Recommended Actions recommending a cost-effective and efficient storm surge suppression system to help protect the six-county region. The study provides a framework for a plan to protect the region from storm surge and serves as a call to action for elected officials to become advocates for coastal protection.
The total cost for implementing the GCCPRD study area coastal protection plan is estimated to be $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.
Recently, the GCCPRD kicked-of Phase 4 of the Storm Surge Suppression Study. Phase 4 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
For more information about the Storm Surge Suppression Study and the Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District, Inc., visit www.GCCPRD.com.
Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District, Inc. (GCCPRD) 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 (Study) is funded by the Texas General Land Office (GLO) through a $3.9 million federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant awarded in September 2013 and is led by the Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District, Inc. (GCCPRD). 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. Phase 4 of the Study began when the GCCPRD accepted an additional $3.2 million HUD Community Development Block Grant from the GLO in June 2016. The GCCPRD is continuing to work collaboratively with federal, state, local, and public and private institutions to develop and implement a plan that meets the needs of the region and the nation.