Master Plan Covers 367-Mile Texas Coast

The Takeaway: Dunes, beaches, wetlands, oyster reefs, and a rookery island will be restored.

About 6.5 million people with total wages topping $37 billion reside along the Texas coast, as do bustling ports, military installations, 25 percent of the nation's refining capacity, and most of the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve. Unfortunately, coastal businesses and homes are vulnerable to hurricanes and floods, and its Gulf shoreline is eroding at an average two feet per year. The Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan is working to protect residents and the economy. NOAA Office for Coastal Management grants and other assistance helped.

The plan, which was adopted by the Texas General Land Office in March 2017, is safeguarding the coast through marine debris clean up and the restoration of dunes, beaches, wetlands, oyster reefs, and a rookery island.

One project now in the construction phase will cut shoreline and dune erosion along 30 miles of beach ridge from the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge to the Texas Point National Wildlife Refuge. Renourishment will rely on sand from the mouth of two nearby rivers. Continuous dune systems provide the first line of defense from chronic coastal flooding and can make renourishment last longer. The project also will benefit local wildlife and protect wetlands from saltwater inundation.

Also targeted: stabilizing the Texas Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and strengthening protective barriers surrounding the Houston shipping channel to protect industries and densely populated neighborhoods. The plan will be updated every two years.

The Texas Coastal Management Program used four years of program enhancement funds to support plan development and also leveraged Community Development Block Grant funding. (Original story 2017/Updated 2019)

More Information: Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan

Partners: Texas Coastal Management Program, Texas General Land Office, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Fast Fact: Did you know that Hurricane Harvey produced 60.58 inches of rainfall in Texas—the most ever recorded in the continental U.S. from a tropical cyclone? For more statistics related to this story, check out Hurricane Costs and Marine Debris.