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Lawmakers Pledge Support for Hurricane Plan

Posted on April 14, 2016

By Kiah Collier, The Texas Tribune

Several state lawmakers on Monday vowed to champion a hurricane protection system for the Texas coast — the Houston region, in particular — by giving money to scientists so they can finalize storm surge barrier proposals, or by working with members of Congress to bypass a lengthy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers process and secure federal funding directly to build a super seawall, levee or gate system.

When the Joint Interim Committee to Study a Coastal Barrier met for the first time two years ago, members ordered hurricane researchers to stop bickering and converge on a single solution to protect Houston and its massive industrial complex. But the Legislature gave them no money to assist with the endeavor — despite repeated requests — leaving researchers dependent on private and, only recently, some federal dollars to carry out their work. Two years later, the experts still are pushing different plans, although some consensus has emerged around an $8 billion concept developed at Texas A&M University at Galveston called the “coastal spine.”


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