Officials will consult international, local experts to refine Texas coastal barrier plan

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Texas General Land Office will soon consult officials from other countries, local experts and public comments as they refine their Coastal Texas Study, a plan to improve and protect the Texas Gulf Coast from hurricanes and other devastating storms.

Both groups on Dec. 18 held their final public meeting to gather public input on the study.

The plan’s biggest component is a Texas coastal barrier of floodwalls and levees that would stretch 76 miles across Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula and include a navigable storm-surge barrier gate—the biggest in the world—between both islands. The plan also includes ecosystem-restoration measures, such as beach restoration and shoreline protection, along the entire Texas coast.

Over the next three months, officials will use public comments to help modify the plan, Project Manager Kelly Burks-Copes said.

“That basically helps us strategize what we’re gonna do in terms of optimization [of our plan],” Burks-Copes said.

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