The Cornyn Ike Dike bill

Credit where credit is due.

With hurricane season right around the corner, Texas U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said Wednesday he is introducing legislation to expedite a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study on a coastal barrier to mitigate storm damage along the Texas coast.

The measure, the Coastal Texas Protection Act, is directed at advancing the construction of a long-awaited “Ike Dike” or Coastal Spine – proposed after Hurricane Ike in 2008 – to better protect the Gulf Coast from storm damage.

“We’ve been working with local stakeholders as well as state officials to try to encourage this process to move along quickly,” Cornyn said. “The Corps of Engineers is an instrumental part of this, and we want them to finish these studies and come up with a plan that the stakeholders and the state can agree upon, and then we will work hard to make sure that coastal protection plan is funded.”


In 2016, Cornyn advanced legislation signed by then President Barack Obama to streamline the Army Corps engineering studies.

According to a Cornyn aide, the 2016 bill prevented the Corps from duplicating efforts by requiring them to take into account studies that had already been conducted by the Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District (GCCPRD).

The new bill would direct the Corps to expedite the completion of the Coastal Texas Study. It also provides a necessary exception for the project under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA). Currently, the CBRA restricts the expenditure of federal funds associated with coastal barriers to avoid encouraging development of such barriers.

Kudos to Cornyn, who is capable of getting stuff done when he wants to. Of course, introducing a bill is not the same as passing it, and the Republican Congress has a crappy track record by any measure. You have to start somewhere, and this is it. Check again in a couple months and see if it’s gone anywhere.

Related Posts:

This entry was posted in Hurricane Katrina and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The Cornyn Ike Dike bill

  1. C.L. says:

    OMG. (1) Any failsafe barrier would take 20 years to construct and would need to be 20 feet high – perhaps it could be constructed with melted down firearms. (2) Unless the constructed barrier is ‘watertight’ from SLP to Winnie, it’s not going to work – all it’d take is a ten foot gap to allow the surge into Galveston Bay. (3) Who exactly is going to pay for it ? (4) Maybe we should start on this as soon as we complete that much ballyhoo’d Border Wall.

  2. Robbie Westmoreland says:

    It’s not an anti-kaiju wall. It’s not sealing the upper Texas coast in Tupperware.

    It’s a storm break, serving to reinforce the barrier islands in slowing hurricanes and storm surge as they approach populated coastal areas. It mitigates the impact of storms, and isn’t even remotely trying to form an insurmountable barrier.

  3. Flypusher says:

    The engineers absolutely ought to look at the feasibility. A cat3 or greater making landfall at Freeport and making a beeline to the ship channel would put us in all kinds of environmental and economic hurt.

  4. C.L. says:

    While an anti-kaiju wall sounds awesome, slowing down a surge instead of eliminating it altogether may well be a pipe dream and pure folly. Slow it down so it doesn’t push into Galveston Bay at 90mph, but at 50mph instead ? The CoE group are the same knuckleheads who thought it’d be a god/good idea to dredge a series of canals through lower LA instead of allowing the Mississippi River to deposit silt natural, building up the LA barrier marsh. Let’s look to the Dutch, who built gates, gates to lock out the water instead of slowing down wind driven water.

    @Fly… it’s not a matter of if, but of when. Shit, we can’t complete the Gulf Frwy between Hou and Galveston in my lifetime, but we’ll be able to construct this barrier inside of 30 years ? Hell, it’ll take ten yrs just to complete the first environmental impact study and findings review, and THAT’S years away.

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    Absolutely with CL on this.

    Can we say boondoggle?

  6. Ross says:

    So, CL and Bill, whats your solution? Do nothing and just let people die? Or tell businesses and residents they should just move? Or, do you just not give a shit about anyone but your own selfish selves?

  7. Manny Barrera says:

    Ross, I would say the latter as to the question above.

    Sea Walls work for saving lives and property, not too good for rising seas.

    I just don’t see the project happening, the U.S. is carrying too much debt. It would be cheaper to bribe Trump with several hundred millions.

  8. Jules says:

    Ross, is that a comment on school shootings? Do nothing and just let kids die?

  9. C.L. says:

    Project ain’t gonna happen because the powers that be would be tied up in litigation for years – who’s to say the residents of the Galveston Bay complex are any more deserving of a coastal barrier than say, Pensacola or Biloxi or Savannah or NYC ?

  10. C.L. says:

    Did no one see the Related Posts Kuff linked to ? The first two were from two years ago ! That’s just shows you/us how long and drawn out this boondoggle would be drawn out.

  11. Manny Barrera says:

    But the do nothing Senator that brought it up looks like he is doing something. We have two of the worse U.S. Senators in the United States. Kay and Phil were a heck of a lot better.

  12. Flypusher says:

    Start with a map showing the locations of all the refineries, for starters.

    As I an not an engineer, I can’t speak to whether the Ike Dike, or the Dutch model, or something else would work here. Or maybe nothing could work. The point is to get the opinions of the experts.

  13. C.L. says:

    @Fly Refineries are more important that people ? That might come as a surprise to the folks in Gulfport, MS., and/or Morristown, NJ.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for some 1,000 mile long offshore jetty to protect the folks along the Gulf Coast from 30 foot hurricane waves, but there is zero (financial) appetite for such a construction project in DC…. but there is that Texas Rainy Day Fund….

    @Manny I’d agree wholeheartedly with you – anyone could/would be considered better at representing Texas folks than Cruz and Cornyn at this point. Just wish we could get rid of both of them in November.

  14. Jules says:

    Refineries taking a hard hit could kill people, maybe for a while, just a guess.

  15. Flypusher says:

    Refineries are not more important than people, but given how dependent on petrochemicals our society is, you shouldn’t have to use much imagination to realize how many people would suffer, across the whole country, if all the refining capacity in this region was shut down for an extended period of time.

    Then add in the environmental damage.

    I think the question of “is it feasible to mitigate it” is worth looking into, because the worst case scenario is that catastrophic.

Comments are closed.