William Merrell, Sam Brody, Cherie Coffman, Bruce Ebersole, Jens Figlus, Bas Jonkman, Baukje Kothuis, Yoon Lee, Tom Richardson, Youn-Kyung Song, Robert W. Whalin
January 1, 2021
The Coastal Texas Study 2020 Draft Feasibility Report (the Report) documents a comprehensive and integrated study. Work reflected in the Report is clearly rooted in, and linked to, previous studies by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Texas General Land Office, Texas A&M University-Galveston (TAMUG) and its technical partners, Technical University of Delft (TUD) and Jackson State University (JSU), and others, and also utilizes international experience. The Report reflects a number of new and informative modeling studies and analyses. Significant improvements have been made to the recommended USACE Plan (the Plan). For example, the 7-10% reduction in tidal exchange associated with the re-designed Bolivar Roads Storm Surge Barrier is very small compared to other barriers around the world, supported by comprehensive environmental flow modelling. The decision to relocate the land barrier, moving it from behind coastal highways to the beach, is sound and evolves the Plan closer to the original Ike Dike concept. The Plan involves a combination of structural and nature-based features, including innovative concepts such as the double dune. New life-cycle dune erosion modelling provides valuable insights regarding performance of the dual dune system. The Report is much improved. The USACE has made an outstanding effort to communicate the Plan to the public through visuals and story lines. The online presentation and visualization materials are both innovative and accessible, effectively communicating the physical aspects and dimensions of Plan features.