Texas's State and Local Managers Tackle the Largest Civil Works Project in U.S. History

October 24, 2021

How will Texas's coastal managers get these projects done?

On this jam-packed episode, hosts Peter Ravella and Tyler Buckingham begin by talking to Sally Bakko, a recently appointed (by Gov. Greg Abbot, TX) board member of the Gulf Coast Protection District (GCPD) who also serves as the Director of Policy and Government Relations for the City of Galveston. Sally explains the purpose of the GCPD, which was  created by the Texas legislature to operate and leverage state funding to build the unique flood control and surge protection needs for Texas's coastal communities. When completed, the Coastal Texas study will be the largest civil works project in U.S. history, and the GCPD will serve as the local sponsor in backing the project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Then, Brandon Hill and his new assistant Russell Cole, join the show to bring us the perspective of City of Galveston's Coastal Resources Division, which oversees implementation of the "City of Galveston Dune Protection and Beach Access Plan." Brandon and Russell oversee projects related to shoreline protection and beach nourishment, and assist property owners in navigating the City’s beachfront construction standards for construction along the coast.

Show Transcription
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Peter Ravella & Tyler Buckingham

Peter and Tyler joined forces in 2015 and from the first meeting began discussing a project that would become Coastal News Today and the American Shoreline Podcast Network. At the time, Peter and Tyler were coastal consultants for Pete’s firm, PAR Consulting, LLC. In that role, they worked with coastal communities in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina, engaged in grant writing, coastal project development, shoreline erosion and land use planning, permitting, and financial planning for communities undertaking big beach restoration projects. Between and among their consulting tasks, they kept talking and kept building the idea of CNT & ASPN. In almost every arena they worked, public engagement played a central role. They spent thousands of hours talking with coastal stakeholders, like business owners, hotel operators, condo managers, watermen, property owners, enviros, surfers, and fishermen. They dived deep into the value, meaning, and responsibility for the American shoreline, segment-by-segment. Common threads emerged, themes were revealed, differences uncovered. There was a big conversation going on along the American shoreline! But, no place to have it. That's where CNT and ASPN were born.