IKE DIKE Alternative

By Matt Pace
First off, I am not in favor of a coastal spine being built down the Bolivar Peninsula and along Galveston Island. I feel that coastal residents should be personally responsible for the decision that they made to live or have a business along the coast. This can be done by building properly and insuring adequately against the wind and storm surge risks associated with hurricanes. But if you were to actually move forward and build a coastal spine as currently being proposed down HWY 87 on the Bolivar Peninsula and down HWY 3005 in west Galveston, then you will immediately be making sacrificial lambs out of the thousands of folks who have homes or businesses trapped on the gulf side of this massive levee system. You might as well burn those structures to the ground if this ill-conceived coastal spine is built because those thousands of seaward structures will be history in the first storm surge to come along and pile water up against that levee, whether it be a big surge or just a small surge.

If a levee system MUST be built at all, then it should be built in mid-Galveston bay. An often-stated purpose of the coastal spine project is to protect the refineries in the Port of Houston area and the communities on the western side of Galveston Bay. Texas City has already protected itself from storm surge with the construction of the levees along the Texas City dike. These levees successfully protected the Texas City area from the storm surge in Hurricane Ike. The Rice University SSPEED Center has developed a brilliant mid-bay plan that is now known as the Galveston Park Plan. It extends from the current Texas City levee system out into Galveston Bay. This mid-bay plan was originally designed just to be supplemental protection that would be built in addition to the Coastal Spine. I submit to you that this mid-bay plan can be altered slightly to become a total replacement plan, rather than just a supplement to the Coastal Spine. It can be built to heights that would stop a large storm surge and it can be built at fractions of the projected $23-30 billion cost of the Coastal Spine. In addition, the mid-bay plan is a much more environmentally-friendly plan and the structure itself would not disrupt our beautiful coastal communities at all.

This plan would have the benefits of:

  • Significantly lower costs than the proposed Coastal Spine plan.
  • Protects the refineries and the communities on the west shoreline of Galveston Bay from storm surge.
  • More environmentally friendly than the Coastal Spine.
  • Adds additional wetlands and shorelines within the bay system.
  • Adds recreational areas for people on the bay.
  • Does not disrupt coastal communities.

CLICK HERE to download the current mid-bay plan as proposed by SSPEED

This “Galveston Bay Park” plan can be modified to make for higher levees and gates where needed. And it will accomplish the goals stated above. The USACE proposed Coastal Spine project ABSOLUTELY MUST BE STOPPED. There are clearly more reasonable options to consider.

Matt Pace
mpace@tricoast.net

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7 Responses to “IKE DIKE Alternative”

  1. Don says:

    Great work expressing our feelings on the Ike Dike! They can put it in the middle of the Bay or in Texas City’s(and north) BACK YARD, NOT in mine!

  2. Carlis Cole says:

    Thank you Matt Pace and I would also like to give everyone a heads up, be watching for notices, posts, messages, articles and flyers and or mail outs re: upcoming planning sessions and meetings for everyone being impacted. Carlis Danna Cole

  3. Thanks Matt, We very much appreciate a much more sensible plan for all of the residents and business owners on the gulf side, as myself, Very much appreciate your research and time ! Thanks!!

  4. Katie Snyder says:

    Thank you Matt for your interest, research and voice in this matter. Hope to see you and that you will speak at the meeting planned in Winnie on 12-11-18. People like you give Crystal Beach homeowners HOPE!

  5. Claire Kelly says:

    Thank you Matt for your article. Anyone wanting more information can go to the Facebook page Coastal Barrier Information and join. If you’re not on Facebook and would like more information feel free to email me @ clairekdavis@gmail.com or azurebevington@gmail.com
    There are several meetings the Corps of Engineers have scheduled over the next month that all residents and homeownes should be planning on attending. For a list of meetings please email.

    Thank you!!

  6. Thank you, Matt. This sounds encouraging, and I would appreciate more information.

  7. Pat Tinsley says:

    Thank you Matt for this information . I would be interested in more information about The Galveston Bay Park Plan.

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