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With the Ike Dike and Galveston Promise as Example Projects Recovering Galveston Bill Merrell Center for Texas Beaches and Shores Texas A& M University.

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Presentation on theme: "With the Ike Dike and Galveston Promise as Example Projects Recovering Galveston Bill Merrell Center for Texas Beaches and Shores Texas A& M University."— Presentation transcript:

1 With the Ike Dike and Galveston Promise as Example Projects Recovering Galveston Bill Merrell Center for Texas Beaches and Shores Texas A& M University at Galveston

2 The Houston/Galveston Region Is home to about 2 Million people and may double by 2050 Galveston Bay provides valuable ecosystem services and supports a vast petrochemical complex Port of Houston alone generates over $117 Billion in economic activity annually Is affected by a major storm about every 15 years Evacuations are increasingly difficult for Hurricanes that quickly increase intensity and/or change direction

3 On Sept. 13, Ike passed over Galveston Island Killing over 80 people Causing $32 Billion dollars in damage Damaging sensitive ecosystems and wildlife habitats Devastating our most vulnerable (poor, elderly) populations much more than others Had it hit farther west (more towards San Luis Pass) its impacts would have been much more severe Hundreds of lives lost Many more billions in damages

4 Recovery Status Individuals muddling through a confusing array of FEMA, SBA, Insurance, Mortgage Holder, etc. regulations Banks, GEDP, helping with bridge loans State, local governments trying to restore services and replace damaged infrastructure - seawall, sand socks, sewer plants, garbage pickup, etc. If all goes well we might get back to the same vulnerable state were in when Ike hit But, remember we have a major event about every 15 years, so

5 Recovery Strategies - 1 It Would be Insane to Recover to the Same Vulnerable State (Fix) We Were In (But That’s Just What We’re Doing) Need to Transform Galveston to a More Resilient and Less Vulnerable Place – Physically, Economically, Environmentally and Socially This takes a Comprehensive, Community-based Approach But the Community is also Busy Replacing Existing Infrastructure, much like Individuals

6 Recovery Strategies - 2 So We Have 3 Processes – Individual and Community Replacement and Community Transforming Often with Different Timing and Conflicting Goals This is Why Recovery Plans Are Like Revenge – Best Served Up Cold Real Time Recovery Planning (Our Present Mode) has a Strong Bias Toward Replacement and Against Change (Ironically, the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee Recommended (in Draft) before Ike that Recovery and Mitigation Plans be Initiated)

7 A Coastal Barrier Protecting the Houston/Galveston Region from Hurricane Storm Surge Center for Texas Beaches and Shores Texas A& M University at Galveston The Ike Dike

8 To date, surge reduction strategies have been local: Circling Dikes Coastal Revetments Hardening of Properties Raising Individual Structures But Each Approach has Limitations

9 A Better Strategy Protect the entire Houston/Galveston Region including Galveston Bay from hurricane surge using a coastal barrier (the Ike Dike) similar to the Dutch Delta Works

10 Components of the Ike Dike Extension of the existing Galveston Seawall out to the West End (San Luis Pass) Covering a total distance of 18 miles Addition of a seawall on Bolivar Peninsula from Bolivar roads to High Island Covering a total distance of 35 miles Construction of inland “wrap-arounds” or extensions to the Dike at both ends Construction of floodgates at Bolivar Roads, San Luis Pass, and on the Intracoastal Waterway

11 Galveston Island Bolivar Peninsula Bolivar Roads San Luis Pass Intracoastal Waterway Existing Seawall Proposed Galveston Bay Enclosure

12 The Dike protects all of Galveston Bay including ship channels

13 The Galveston Gates Galveston gates will be the costliest component of the Ike Dike and its biggest tourist attraction Must allow water circulation into the bay under normal conditions But close quickly when a hurricane approaches to provide a 17ft higher-than-sea-level barrier across Bolivar Roads Based on flood gates now operating near Rotterdam

14 Rotterdam Flood Gates protect a channel 1181 ft wide and 75 ft deep

15 Houston Ship Channel Specifications main channel dredged to project depth of 45 feet and width of 530 feet; 35-foot wide transition slopes on either side of the main channel, measuring 45 feet deep at their innermost point, and 12 feet deep at their outermost point; 200-foot wide barge lanes outside of the transition slopes, measuring 12 feet deep; and, width of the entire channel is 1000 feet

16 Bolivar Roads

17 Animation of the flood gates closing

18 When the gates have closed, they are flooded and drop down and seal the barrier.

19 Closed Flood Gates

20 Elsewhere - Can use other flood gate designs – Japanese example

21 San Luis Pass

22 Intracoastal Waterway

23 Rough Costs Seawall Extension:~$1,000,000,000 Bolivar Roads Floodgate:~$ 1,000,000,000 San Luis Pass Floodgate:~$ 50,000,000 Intracoastal Floodgates:~$ 100,000,000 Total Building Cost: ~$ 2,150,000,000 Additional costs will incur if purchase of land is required and there will always be inflation

24 The Ike Dike Provides Comprehensive Regional Protection from Storm Surge Protects Both Properties and Ecosystems Helps Less Resilient Populations (Poor and Elderly) Costs Much Less than a Single Hurricane Recovery And We Face Recurring (15 yr Interval) Hurricanes Protects Against Hurricanes that Quickly Change Path or Intensity Is Less Costly and More Environmentally Sound than Armoring the Entire Bay System

25 For Any Long-Term GISD Graduate, We Will Pay Tuition and Required Fees at Any State College or University The Galveston Promise

26 Some Background Before Ike We were Slowly Losing Population and GISD Enrollment Our “Child-Raising Age” Population was Already Under- Represented After Ike GISD Lost About 2000 Students Galveston Lost Between 15,000 and 20,000 Residents We Need to Actively Recruit Families We Need to Raise Expectations of Students and Their Families

27 Galveston Promise Based on Highly Successful Kalamazoo Promise Proven to Attract Families, Increase Enrollment and Raise Student Expectations Already have Galveston College’s Excellent Universal Access as a Base Cost is About $1,000,000 Per Year

28 Center for Texas Beaches and Shores at /

29 Truly Interconnected Downtown Connect to Port Connect to UTMB Connect to East End Historic District Deal with barriers – i.e. present structure of Harborside Drive, Port Railroad Tracks, Magnolia Homes Create Connectors Walking trails, Biking Trails Bike racks, Places to Sit, Shade Interconnected by Internet, Downtown Merchant Website


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