ENTERPRISE EDITORIAL: Sand dunes seem to be least-bad option for protecting coast
To its credit, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is open about some of the problems that accompany plans to fortify the upper Texas Gulf Coast with new sand dunes. But with no silver bullet out there, the dunes remain the least-bad option until something better comes along.
The Corps has proposed 14-foot dune barriers on the Bolivar Peninsula from the western tip to High Island. It also envisions dunes for the western two-thirds of Galveston Island, with a ring barrier for the eastern third. That’s 44 miles of dunes in all. Between the island and the peninsula, a movable gate is planned to stop any surge of water.
It’s an ambitious plan, and it represents the latest version of the “Ike Dike” concept that is constantly being updated. For Bolivar residents, the dunes are much better than the highly unpopular wall barrier inland. For that matter, the dunes replace earlier attempts to build up the coast with large sand-filled geo-tubes (“sand socks”) that seemed promising but didn’t hold up.