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Posts Tagged ‘Galveston Bay’

Harvey and the oysters

If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Oyster lovers will shell out more for the marine delicacy this fall, as freshwater runoff from Hurricane Harvey’s historic floods killed virtually all of the bivalves in the prolific seabeds of Galveston Bay. The storm was the latest setback to a multimillion-dollar commercial fishing and seafood-processing industry that […]

Texas asks for Ike Dike money from the feds

Good luck with that. Almost a decade after Hurricane Ike killed dozens of people and caused $30 billion in damage, a group of Texas politicians and business leaders say they finally have “all the support necessary” to break ground on a massive coastal barrier that would protect the Houston area from another devastating hurricane. Now […]

What is the environmental impact of building an Ike Dike?

Maybe we should try to figure that out. Plans for building a massive storm-surge protection system for the Houston area are rushing ahead before officials determine whether the project could harm Galveston Bay, environmental groups say. The Sierra Club and the Galveston Bay Foundation, the environmental groups most closely watching the planning process, worry that […]

Galveston wants a bag ban

Good luck. Reacting to a groundswell of concern about the effect of plastic bags on the environment, Galveston is on the forefront of a statewide controversy over cities’ ability to ban plastic bags that are killing turtles, birds and fouling beaches. A proposed ordinance with unanimous City Council support and strong community backing faces fierce […]

Two Ike Dike updates

Ike Dike could be hidden by dunes: The “Ike Dike” that is being proposed to protect the Galveston-Houston area from a potentially catastrophic hurricane storm surge could take the form of undulating sand dunes hiding a steel or concrete core. The proposal to craft a storm barrier that would blend in with the environment and […]

Turner endorses Ike Dike

Interesting. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has endorsed the “Ike Dike” storm surge protection proposal, raising the possibility that Houston could be one of the last cities in the Galveston Bay area to endorse the $6 billion project. If the Houston City Council passes a resolution endorsing the Ike Dike concept, the Bayou City would become […]

Cornyn files bill to speed up floodgate construction process

Credit where credit is due. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn filed legislation Wednesday that he says would expedite the long process of constructing a hurricane protection system for the Texas coast, including the particularly vulnerable Houston region. But while local officials cheered the high-profile support, it’s unclear how much the measure would actually speed anything up. […]

Don’t expect Congress to pay for a Gulf Coast floodgate system

I sure don’t. After nearly a decade of bickering and finger pointing, Texas scientists and lawmakers finally seem to agree that building some version of a “coastal spine” — a massive seawall and floodgate system — would best help protect the Houston region from a devastating hurricane. But with a price tag sure to reach […]

Not everyone likes the latest hurricane surge protection plan

Yet another obstacle. A new proposal to protect the Houston area from hurricanes is reigniting controversy, and potentially diminishing the odds that a consensus will emerge anytime soon on the best plan to safeguard the nation’s fifth-largest metropolitan area. Since Hurricane Ike in 2008, Texas scientists have pushed several different plans to shield the region, […]

Storm protection is expensive

But then so would be getting hit by a truly bad storm. Building a storm surge protection system along the Texas Gulf Coast could cost between $7.9 billion and $11 billion, and likely would not be completed for about two decades, according to a new study. The report by the Gulf Coast Community Protection and […]

A better year for seaweed

Good news for Galveston beachgoers. In a lucky break for Galveston beachgoers and the Gulf Coast’s tourism industry, the masses of seaweed that plagued the area last summer seem to be turning toward the Caribbean and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The mats of Sargassum, now carefully tracked by a NASA app unveiled Thursday, drift in from […]

Reusing wastewater

Get used to it. Reclaimed wastewater soon will irrigate the trim lawns and wooded parks of some Houston suburbs. Instead of being dumped into the bayous, some of it might even undergo more extensive treatment in order to flow from kitchen taps. Economics is starting to trump the yuck factor of reusing water flushed down […]

Who wants to live in Galveston?

Galveston would like to know. Although the city is still rebuilding with new private investment and hundreds of millions in federal disaster money, Galveston finds itself at a crossroads and confronting fundamental questions: Will its population continue to shrink until it becomes nothing more than a husk of tourist attractions? Will the city attract new […]

The Ike Floodgate

We have a recommendation for how to prepare for a future Hurricane Ike. A giant floodgate at the entrance to the Houston Ship Channel, coupled with a 130-mile wetlands recreation area, should be built to protect Houston from hurricane storm surges, a research team from five Texas universities recommended Monday. The two-year study led by […]

Time for the annual “Are we ready for a big storm?” story

The answer, of course, is no, not really. After Tropical Storm Allison’s devastating floods, the Houston area widened its bayous and hardened its infra­structure. After Hurricane Rita’s deadly gridlock, the state revamped storm communications and evacuation plans. Yet since Hurricane Ike’s enormous surge wiped out coastal communities and its $30 billion in damages dwarfed those […]

Two environmental issues for your attention

Are you familiar with tar sands? The Sierra Club would like to acquaint you with them this Thursday, December 16, on its Houston Frontlines tour. Elected officials and community members will gather at Hartmann Community Center on Thursday, December 16th for a tour of industrial facilities along the Houston Ship Channel and the communities they […]

Cleaning up the bay

There’s been plenty of action on land cleaning up after Hurricane Ike. Now there’s going to be a similar amount of action in the water. The Texas General Land Office, which is responsible for protecting the coast, has pinpointed nearly 600 large pieces of underwater debris after surveying about one-fifth of the bay. The sonar […]