Energy & Environment

Six Years Later, Still No Consensus on Proposed ‘Ike Dike’

Engineers and policy makers still searching for coastal barrier solution to hurricanes.

The Ike Dike would be a coastal barrier protecting the Houston-Galveston region from hurricane storm surge. It’s an idea under research at Texas A&M University and promoted by the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership. Bob Mitchell is the president of that group. He says the dike would extend from the Sabine Pass to the San Luis Pass to protect Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel.

“When you look at the Galveston Bay system and what we have up and down the Houston Ship Channel, with 47 percent of all the specialty feed stocks and 27 percent of all the gas and 67 percent of the jet aviation fuel produced for the entire United States is right here, I think we really need to focus on the assets that we have here, as well as the human assets,” Mitchell said.

Opponents of the plan do agree that some sort of protection should be put in place to prevent massive loss of life and infrastructure. But Page Williams with the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club says it’s not clear how or if the Ike Dike would work.

“I don’t have a clear concept from the Ike Dike proponents of whether they’re planning to put this in front of the beach houses so we can all sit on our front porch and stare at the seawall, or whether they’re planning to put it back on the highway where all the run-off can wash the beach houses into the Gulf. I mean there’s a lot of unanswered questions,” Williams said.

Williams and Mitchell were guests on Houston Matters. The Ike Dike would cost anywhere from $5 to $8 billion and any final plan is still at least three years away.

 

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Laurie Johnson

Executive Producer for News

Laurie Johnson leads daily news coverage for HPM. She helps reporters craft and sharpen their stories on tight deadlines, with the aim of getting the most relevant and current information into local newscasts. Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. She is...

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