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SEABROOK, Texas (FOX 26) – Hurricanes Ike, Rita, and Dolly have cost much devastation to the Gulf Coast. Something needs to be done to protect our economy and environment from these natural disasters, but it’s not easy to come up with a solution.
Three years into a five-and-half year Coastal Texas Study and a proposal has been laid out to the public in a series of meetings. The purpose is to give people an opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions.
“The overall goal is to make sure the public knows where we are in the study, knows what our tentatively selective plan is, and really it is important to get feedback from the public,” says Tony Williams, the Director of Planning for Texas General Land Office.
Over 200 concerned residents attended the last meeting that was held in Seabrook. They were able to speak with experts, look over the plans, and listen to the proposal, which will effect the entire Gulf Coast from the Sabine River to the Rio Grande.
Kelly Burks-Copes, the Project Manager for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, tells FOX 26, “We also have proposed ecosystem restoration both north and south of the barrier, and then all the way down the coast. So marshes, beaches, dunes, oyster reef’s, and islands are all part of the plan.“
Residents are concerned a wall will be an eyesore for those who come to visit the Galveston area. Also, the hefty price tag is alarming as the plan may cost as much as $32 billion.
“There are cheaper issues that will address the issues that they’re trying to solve here and maybe that can be done cheaper and faster than what they proposed,” Dale Coulthard says.
Others, like Mark Westerman, feel pleased with what has been presented. “We had some concerns initially. We wanted to figure out if they were trying to build a levy along 146, which would’ve made a great dam for Harvey,” Westerman say. “But understanding the project now, coming out and seeing what they’re doing, we have less concerns of what they’re trying to do now.”
The study is only at the halfway mark. We were told that all of the public’s comments will be considered going forward.
You can learn more about the proposal here Coastal Study. Although the public meetings have come to an end, there is still time to submit your comment. See the following information:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District
Attn: Ms. Jennifer Morgan, Environmental Compliance Branch
Regional Planning and Environmental Center
P.O. Box 1229
Galveston, TX 77553-1229
All comments must be received or postmarked by
January 9, 2019