Erosion Response Planning Proven Effective after Harvey

The Takeaway: Protected dunes returned the favor and lessened storm surge.

A Texas state law proved its effectiveness post-Hurricane Harvey, when the dune structures along Padre Island helped keep damage to Port Aransas from being more severe. Local residents have reported that homes and businesses located close to the beach's dune complex experienced little to no flooding, while areas farther away from the dune structure were more prone to flooding.

Following Hurricane Ike in 2008, the Texas Coastal Management Program responded to the new legislation by creating guidelines aimed at dune protection and helping counties establish procedures for post-storm recovery of public access points. These actions resulted in protective dune fields that likely would not otherwise exist. In addition, the guidelines are aiding elected local officials in making consistent decisions for beachfront coastal management. (2017)

Partners: Texas Coastal Management Program

Fast Fact: Did you know that Hurricane Harvey had total costs of $125 billion—which likely would have been a lot higher without mitigation strategies such as Texas’s protective dunes? For more statistics related to this story, check out Hurricane Costs and Hazard Mitigation Value.