The Texas coast is affected by hurricanes and storms causing loss of life, property and impact to the environment. Recovery costs from each storm is estimated in the billions of dollars. Threats to the Texas Coastline from hurricanes, storms and potential climate change include:
- Coastal Erosion
- Relative Sea Level Rise
- Coastal Storm Surge
- Habitat Loss
- Water Quality Degradation
- Loss of Strategic Production
- Reduction or Loss of Regional Economic Production
In 2008, Hurricane Ike caused $30 billion dollars in damage and caused 113 deaths. Hurricane Harvey, in 2017, caused $125 billion in damages and caused 68 deaths.
Industries along the Texas coast account for 30% of the nations refining capacity and most of the nations strategic petroleum reserves. The inter-coastal waterway is the 3rd busiest inland waterway in the country and 564 million tons of cargo pass through the ports between Port Arthur and Port Isabel alone. These ports are essential to the transport and deployment of military cargo for our nations security and defense.
Recreational and environmental habitat areas are key to the citizens of and visitors to our great state. The social, economic, environmental and wildlife impact cannot be measured in dollars alone but also have a immeasurable impact on the quality of life in Texas and our nation.
The Texas Land Office and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers along with industry, and local, state and federal organizations are working together on the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Feasibility Study to minimize the impact of hurricanes, storms and other environmental events to the Texas coastline. This study, estimated to cost around $20 million dollars, will produce solutions that can be taken to minimize the loss of life and property. The video in this article, produced by the Texas Land Office and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, presents an excellent overview of the issues, objectives and solutions to help protect our coastline. You can also learn more about protecting the Texas coastline by visiting www.coastalstudy.texas.gov.