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TX - Texas A&M Prof: Passage of 'Ike Dike' Bill A Great Start

The Texas Legislature passed a bill last week that would help pay for construction of the “Ike Dike” that would protect portions of the upper Texas coast – especially the Houston-Galveston area – from a major hurricane.

The Texas Legislature passed a bill last week that would help pay for construction of the “Ike Dike” that would protect portions of the upper Texas coast – especially the Houston-Galveston area – from a major hurricane.

While it still awaits the signature of Gov. Greg Abbott, passage of the bill would be a huge plus for Texas, according to Texas A&M University at Galveston professor William Merrell, who originated the Ike Dike concept.

Merrell, who holds the George P. Mitchell Chair in Marine Sciences at Texas A&M-Galveston and is a former president of the school, has been a relentless proponent of the Ike Dike since the hurricane devastated much of the Galveston area in 2008. Although Ike was a Category 2 storm, it produced Category 4 storm surge that crippled the island for months, killed at least 50 people and caused $30 billion in damages.

His Ike Dike plan is modeled after the Delta Works project in The Netherlands, which was built following 1953 floods that killed more than 2,500. It’s believed not one death has occurred from flooding in the area since the Delta Works project was constructed.

If passed, the bill will create the Gulf Coast Protection District that would manage and help fund the Ike Dike and its coastal barrier system. The district would also be able to levy a new property tax across at least five counties in the coastal barrier region and issue bonds to help pay for the project.


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