Coastal Texas Program receives Federal authorization
President Biden signed the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 into law on December 23, 2022, which includes authorization of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Coastal Texas Program.
This legislative action officially authorizes USACE to begin implementation activities for this large-scale coastal storm risk management and ecosystem restoration program, pending appropriation of funding.
After Hurricane Ike devastated the upper Texas coast in 2008, USACE and its non-federal sponsor, the Texas General Land Office (GLO), embarked on the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Feasibility Study. This six-year, $20 million comprehensive study sought to reduce risks to public health and the economy, restore critical ecosystems, and advance coastal resiliency.
These efforts culminated in Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, USACE commanding general, signing the Chief’s Report on September 16, 2021, representing the largest single investment recommendation to Congress in USACE history.
The Galveston District (SWG), along with its non-federal partners the Gulf Coast Protection District (GCPD) and the GLO, will lead the delivery of the approximately $34 billion—in today’s dollars—program through design, construction, and subsequent operation.
“This is one of the largest programs in the history of the Corps of Engineers,” said SWG’s District Commander Col. Rhett A. Blackmon. “More than 300 individuals from across 11 USACE districts and two USACE labs—including the best scientists and engineers—worked with four contracting firms, 12 different colleges and universities, multiple community working groups, and experts from countries around the world to build the framework for this project.”
According to Michel Bechtel, Board President of the GCPD, the authorization of the Coastal Texas Program represents a momentous step forward for this critical effort, over a decade in the making, to protect the communities, economy, and vital ecosystems of the Texas coast from the devastating effects of coastal storm surge.
For more information about the Coastal Texas Program, please click HERE.