The Coastal Texas Program, a $34.4 billion federal project aiming to protect the Gulf Coast and parts of Harris and Galveston counties from storm surge, has received its first installment of federal funding.

The details

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allocated $500,000 from its fiscal year 2024-25 budget for the USACE Galveston District’s Coastal Texas Program, according to a May 21 USACE news release.

The program includes more than 15 projects that will reflect and absorb storm surge as a collective part of a coastal barrier, Community Impact reported.

The first round of funding will provide shoreline and island protection along the Bolivar Peninsula and West Bay Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, according to the release.

The funding will allow the USACE to work with nonfederal partners like the Gulf Coast Protection District, the Texas General Land Office and nonprofit partner Ducks Unlimited to begin work on the Coastal Texas Program and prepare the shoreline and island protection for construction, according to the release.

Quote of note

“This project is important to the nation for many reasons,” said Col. Rhett A. Blackmon, district commander, in the release. “Not only will it reduce risk to the vulnerable populations along the Texas coast, but it will also protect vital ecosystems and economically critical infrastructure vital to the U.S. supply chain and the many global industries located here.”

The backstory

After Hurricane Ike hit the upper Texas Coast in 2008, the USACE and GLO initiated the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Feasibility Study, according to the release.

The six-year, $20 million study sought to reduce risks to public health and the economy, restore critical ecosystems and advance coastal resiliency, according to the release.

Community Impact previously reported that President Joe Biden signed the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 into law in December 2022, authorizing the USACE to begin construction for the Coastal Texas Program.