TEXAS COASTAL

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T E X A S C OA S TA LRESILIENCY MASTER PLANEXECUTIVE SUMMARY – MARCH 2017George P. Bush, CommissionerTexas General Land Office

Plan OverviewCover photographs, clockwise from top:Whooping Cranes on the Matagorda Island Unit of theAransas National Wildlife Refuge.Port of Galveston.View of Seawall Boulevard on Galveston Island.Recreational fishing boat in Port Aransas Ship Channel.bExecutive Summary – Texas Coastal Resiliency Master PlanTexas General Land Office

Plan OverviewSouth Padre Island beach access point.Message from the CommissionerGeorge P. Bush, Commissioner, TexasGeneral Land OfficeAs the Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, I am committed tomaking sure that this state does all it can to protect the people, economyand natural resources of the Texas coast. A region that is vitally importantto not just this state, but the entire nation. The Texas coast is home to theGulf Intracoastal Waterway, the nation’s third busiest inland waterway15,25 percent of the nation’s refining capacity26, four of the 15 busiest portsin the country23, most of the nation’s strategic petroleum reserves24 ,numerous strategic military deployment and distribution installations,and a vital tourism industry. This economic activity is supported by beachand dune systems, wetlands and other coastal natural resources that serveas natural barriers to protect against storm surge and coastal flooding.However, 65 percent of the Texas Gulf shoreline is eroding at an average rateof more than 2 feet per year, and in some areas much more rapidly, which isleaving our homes, businesses and the state’s entire coastline vulnerable.22The Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan (Plan) is an important step toprovide a framework for community, economic, ecologic and infrastructureprotection from coastal hazards. This framework consists of recommendedprojects to enhance and protect the coast, and resiliency strategies thatwill require partner coordination to implement. In addition to this Plan, theGeneral Land Office is conducting several separate studies to help protectour coastal communities, including the Coastal Texas Study with the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers that will determine the feasibility of constructingstorm risk mitigation and large-scale environmental restoration projectsfor the entire Texas coast.The need for the Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan and these othercoastal studies has never been greater, and the commitment to the coasthas never been stronger in this state. The Plan will help us mitigate impactson our coast and to our communities.Texas General Land OfficeExecutive Summary – Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Planc

Inner harbor of the Port of Corpus Christi.

Plan OverviewThe Importance of the Texas Coastand the Need for a Coastal PlanAs a powerful economic engine and an invaluable environmental treasure,the Texas coast is vital to the success of the state and the nation. Itsbeautiful natural resources such as beaches, dunes, wetlands, oyster reefsand rookery islands — providing more than just recreational opportunities —play a critical role in protecting coastal communities from storm surge andflooding. Our coastal resources also contribute to the state and nationaleconomies by safeguarding and supporting industries such as petroleumrefining, petrochemical, chemical and plastics manufacturing, waterbornecommerce through the expansive network of Texas ports, commercial andrecreational fishing, and tourism.The Texas coast, however, is vulnerable to coastal hazards, and is placingpeople, economic assets and communities at risk. The hazards include aginginfrastructure along major navigation channels, erosion of large swaths ofGulf and bay shorelines, continual degradation of water quality to coastalestuaries, and potential flooding and surge damages from the next big storm.Past storms, such as Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Dolly, were environmentallyand economically damaging to the Texas coast, and portions of the coast arestill recovering.4Flooding in Kemah after Hurricane Ike, 2008.In June 2012, Houston and Galveston were identified as the fifth mostvulnerable of U.S. cities to hurricanes because of their low-lying coastallocation, large population and critical economic infrastructure.6 This rankingshould come as no surprise, given that the entire nation felt Hurricane Ike’srippling economic impacts. Due to the closure of the ports of Houston andGalveston, as well as the Houston Ship Channel, gas prices skyrocketedin the Midwest and the South.2 There was also an interruption of supplychains for consumer goods, such as food, beverages and clothes, as nearly150 tankers, container ships and cargo vessels waited offshore in the daysfollowing Hurricane Ike’s landfall until the port could be re-opened.8 Theselocal and national effects clearly emphasize the need for coastal protectionand the urgency to create resilient natural and built environments alongthe Texas coast. They highlight the need for innovative planning to restore,improve and revitalize communities in advance of impacts, not only fromcoastal storms, but also from the persistent issues that threaten the vitalityand productivity of the region.Coastal planning is essential to articulate the importance of the coast andacquire the much needed funding to implement appropriate solutions. TheTexas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan (Plan) highlights the value of the coastand the hazards that endanger the environment and the economy of thecoastal communities. The Plan also provides a list of projects and strategiesto address those problems – ensuring that the Texas coast is more resilienttoday, and for generations to come.Texas General Land OfficePort O’Connor after HurricaneClaudette, 2003.Executive Summary – Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan1

Plan OverviewThe Texas Coastal Resiliency Master PlanThe GLO’s Vision for aResilient Texas CoastCoastal protection is a priorit y of Texas LandCommissioner, George P. Bush. As the steward ofstate‑owned lands, the Texas General Land Office (GLO)is responsible for management of the Texas coastlinefrom tidally influenced streams and riverbeds, and out to10.3 miles into the Gulf of Mexico. In alignment with theGLO’s mission to restore, enhance and protect the state’scoastal natural resources while fostering economicgrowth, Commissioner Bush directed the developmentof the Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan to help coastalcommunities become more resilient and less vulnerableto coastal storms and hazards.The Plan embraces the GLO’s vision for a resilient coastthat supports and sustains a strong economy and healthyenvironment for all who live, work, play or otherwisebenefit from coastal resources and the natural and builtenvironment along the Texas coast, now and in the future.The Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan also is acoordinative vehicle that complements various coastalplanning and coastal management initiatives of otherentities at the federal, state and local levels. The Planwill actively guide the GLO in the execution of itsresponsibilities and provide Texas coastal communitieswith a set of scientifically sound, feasible and cost-effectivecoastal protection and restoration projects to advancecoastal resiliency. This planning process is not a one-timeundertaking. The Plan will continuously evolve along withthe concerns and needs of the coast and its residents toensure that recurrent and up-to-date coastal managementis provided to the coastal communities.Port Aransas shoreline.2Executive Summary – Texas Coastal Resiliency Master PlanView of Corpus Christi from Bayside Park in Portland.Planning GoalsWithin the planning framework are three goalsand associated objectives that collectively yieldrecommended projects to achieve a resilient coast. Goal 1: The GLO will use the Plan to direct itsauthority to restore, enhance and protect theTexas coast. Goal 2: Maintain ongoing communication withthe Technical Advisory Committee, resourceagencies and stakeholders throughout Plandevelopment and implementation to garnersupport for the Plan. Goal 3: Develop an adaptable plan thataccommodates changing coastal conditions andtheir impacts on the coastal environment andthe infrastructure protected by this natural firstline of defense.Planning ScopeThe scope of the Plan is focused on nature-based projectsto enhance coastal resiliency. For the purposes of thePlan, resiliency is defined as the ability of coastal systemsand infrastructure to withstand – and rebound from –natural and human-induced disturbances. When a coastalcommunity is resilient, significant adverse impactsfrom such disturbances are reduced or eliminated, andthe community can rebound more effectively in thoseinstances where negative impacts cannot be avoided.A resilient natural system can better protect the builtenvironment by absorbing or mitigating impacts fromdisturbances, and return more quickly to a stable state.The Plan also highlights the environmental and economiccharacterization of the Texas coast to showcase theinvaluable contributions the coast provides to localcommunities, the state and the nation.Texas General Land Office

Plan OverviewCoastal Issues of ConcernORANGEPlanning AreaA component of the Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Planis the identification and evaluation of the natural andJEFFERSONhuman‑induced disturbances, whicharereferred to hePlan.TheIOCsare listedHoustonbelow and are described in more detail on pages 8-10: Altered, Degraded or Lost HabitatGalvestonBay and Dune Degradation Gulf BeachErosion Bay Shoreline ErosionGALVESTON Existing andFuture Coastal Storm Surge DamageGalveston CoastalFloodDamageZORIA Impacts on Water Quality and Quantity Impacts on Coastal ResourcesFreeport Abandoned or Derelict Vessels, Structures and DebrisThe planning area of the Texas Coastal Resiliency MasterPlan is the Texas Coastal Zone Boundary from the TexasCoastal Management Program, which is the area theGLO is required to regulate through state and federallaws. This area is immense — making up one-tenth ofthe state’s total land area and including over 6 millionresidents, representing nearly 25 percent of the state’stotal population.18 Because the Texas coastal zone isecologically diverse, for the purposes of this planningeffort, the coast is broken up into four regions to providea more focused assessment of the needs in these coastalareas. All or portions of the following counties areincluded in these four regions:The Plan recognizes that the issues affecting the Texascoast are relentless, and the consequences of inaction areprofound. The coastal Issues of Concern will not resolvethemselves, and if left unaddressed, will continue to haveadverse impacts on infrastructure, natural resources,economic activities, and the health and safety of residents. Region 1 - Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Harris,Jefferson and Orange; Region 2 - Calhoun, Jackson, Matagorda and Victoria; Region 3 - Aransas, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio and SanPatricio; and Region 4 - Cameron, Kenedy and Willacy.ORANGEJEFFERSONHARRISHoustonCHAMBERSPort ArthurGalveston ortVICTORIAPort LavacaMatagorda BayCALHOUNREFUGIOSan Antonio BayARANSASCopano BaySAN PATRICIOCorpus Christi BayNUECESCorpus ChristiKLEBERGRegion 1Baffin BayRegion 2KENEDYLaguna MadreRegion 3WILLACYRegion 4CAMERONPort IsabelRegion 1Region 2Region 3Texas General Land OfficeExecutive Summary – Texas Coastal Resiliency Master PlanRegion 43

Plan OverviewAerial view of Port Aransas and Harbor Island.Technical AdvisoryCommittee (TAC) Members: State & federal agencies Universities Local governments Non-profits Engineering firms Port representatives Regional trusts,foundations & partnershipsPlanning TeamTo assist with the development of the Plan, the GLO partnered with contractorsand an academic institution for engineering services, data analysis andmapping, and facilitation of education and outreach activities.To gather information on the specific Issues of Concern affecting the Texascoast and to evaluate potential solutions to address these challenges, the GLOformed a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), a group of coastal expertsfrom state and federal agencies, universities, local governments, non-profits,engineering firms, port representatives, and regional trusts, foundations andpartnerships. The TAC members are an integral component of the developmentof the Plan who serve as subject matter experts on a regional and statewidelevel, and provide input and technical guidance throughout the entire planningprocess. A complete listing of the TAC member affiliations is included in theAcknowledgments section of the Plan.Technical Advisory Committee and localofficials meeting in Houston.4Executive Summary – Texas Coastal Resiliency Master PlanTexas General Land Office

Plan OverviewThe Planning ProcessThe planning framework began by compiling an initiallist of over 900 coastal projects through a comprehensiveliterature review of past and current coastal planningdocuments and databases, as well as through stakeholderconsultation. The first screening process removedprojects that did not have sufficient information or wereduplications.Concurrently, while the project lists were assembled andscreened, Issues of Concern were identified as they relateto coastal resiliency. Identification of the Issues of Concernwere derived from an understanding of the Pressuresexerted on the coastal system (such as tropical storms,hurricanes, depletion of freshwater inflows, sedimentdeficits, infrastructure and development) that stem fromsocial, economic and natural Drivers. The TAC evaluatedthe level of concern for all Issues of Concern, in terms ofcoastal resiliency, within each of the four coastal regionsthat were divided into 68 subregions and primarily definedby watershed extents. Included in the 68 subregions arefour Gulf-facing beach and dune subregions createdto examine the Pressures facing the barrier island andpeninsula beach and dune systems. High levels of concernimply the need for project solutions to address the IOCs inthe specified areas.A second project screening identified the environmentalbenefits and physical capabilities of the projects to addressthe Issues of Concern, which reduced the list of candidateprojects to 177. During a series of regional meetings, the177 projects were subjected to additional evaluation bythe TAC, who assessed each project based on how theproject addressed the IOCs within that area, the feasibilityof executing the project and whether the project was apriority for coastal resiliency. The TAC also were askedto provide additional gap projects that could address theIssues of Concern and were not included in the 177 projectsthey evaluated at the meetings. The TAC submitted andevaluated 61 gap projects.Following the TAC’s assessment of initial and gap projects,an additional technical analysis was conducted, whichconsidered project costs, economic benefits, physicaland risk impacts, environmental impacts and sedimentavailability. This technical assessment in conjunction withTAC input, resulted in the designation of Tier 1 projects(high priority) and Tier 2 and Tier 3 projects. OnlyTier 1 projects are listed in the Plan and the ExecutiveSummary. Tier 2 and Tier 3 projects are recorded in thePlan’s appendix and will be further considered in futureiterations of the Plan.The Planning ProcessDevelopPlanningFrameworkAnalyzeExisting Data& Information Project Lists TechnicalReferences Ongoing &CompletedStudiesProject Screening1st ScreeningIdentifyProjectsforEvaluation2nd ScreeningDevelopIssues ectsCriteria &MethodologyAdditional TechnicalAnalysis of Projects Physical Systems Cost/Benefits EnvironmentalImpacts esBeginPlanPlan2017March2016TACAssessmentof Issues ofConcernTexas General Land OfficeIdentify Next Steps Gap Analysis Ongoing TAC Review Enhance FirstIteration ResiliencyStrategiesTACProjectEvaluation& GapProjectsSubmittedTAC GapProjectAnalysisNextStepsTAC & LocalOfficial Reviewof Projects andResiliencyStrategiesExecutive Summary – Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan5

Plan OverviewResiliency StrategiesPost-TAC project analysis revealed that across theregions there were common project types, due to thecommon Issues of Concern identified regionwide. Similarproject types, addressing similar Issues of Concern, weregrouped into Resiliency Strategies to provide multiplelines of defense solutions. The Resiliency Strategiesalso are intended to provide a system-wide approachwithin each coastal region to maximize the benefits ofthe projects when they are implemented collectively.Each Tier 1 project included in the Plan is assigned tothe Resiliency Strategy that best describes its focus,recognizing that any given project may have secondarybenefits that relate to other Resiliency Strategies. TheResiliency Strategies are as follows: Restoration of Beaches and Dunes – Providesrenourishment of sediment to beach and dunecomplexes to address erosion, shoreline loss and limitedsediment supply. Bay Shoreline Stabilization and Estuarine WetlandRestoration (Living Shorelines) – Addresses shorelineerosion problems within bay and estuarine systems andwill provide shoreline stabilization through combinedshoreline protection and habitat creation projects (e.g.,living shorelines).Delta &LagoonRestorationRookeryIslandCreation &RestorationFreshwaterWetlands &Coastal UplandsConservationRestorationof Beaches& DunesResiliencyStrategiesPlans,Policies& Programs6 Stabilizing the Texas Gulf Intracoastal Waterway(GIWW) – Addresses critical shoreline erosion, habitatloss and environmental degradation problems alongthe GIWW or other navigation channels. Fre shwat er Wetlands and Coast al UplandsConservation – Conserves and protects ecologicallysignificant freshwater wetlands and coastal uplandsthrough various land acquisition, conservation andrestoration projects. Delta and Lagoon Restoration – Mitigates hydrologicand water quality impairments within major delta andlagoon systems along the coast. Oyster Reef Creation and Restoration – Provides forthe identification and restoration or re-establishmentof productive oyster reefs. Rookery Island Creation and Restoration – Provides forthe identification and restoration or re-establishmentof rookery island nesting habitats to support colonialwaterbird populations. Plans, Policies and Programs – Establishes a frameworkto address coastal resiliency priorities throughlegislative and administrative changes and coastalprogram enhancements.Executive Summary – Texas Coastal Resiliency Master PlanStabilizingthe TexasGIWWBay ShorelineStabilization& EstuarineWetlandRestorationOyster ReefCreation &RestorationTexas General Land Office

Plan OverviewLeonabelle Turnbull Birding Center in Port Aransas.Plan Implementation and Next StepsThe Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan will be used by the General LandOffice to guide and enhance the various coastal programs it manages, withthe goal of protecting, restoring and enhancing the Texas coast through anefficient and cost-effective approach to achieve a resilient coast. The Planalso can be used by coastal communities to highlight the Issues of Concern intheir region, and to solicit action to fund the coastal projects that can maketheir communities more resilient and less vulnerable to the next big storm.The GLO utilizes an adaptive approach in the development of the Plan,recognizing that it is a living document to be updated and amended basedon evolving issues, needs and societal preferences. This ability to adapt willensure that the Plan will provide a long-term framework to protect theenvironment and economic assets from the Issues of Concern that threatenthe communities along the Texas coast.Future iterations of the Plan will reflect a

2 Executive Summary – Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan Texas General Land Office Plan Overview The GLO’s Vision for a Resilient Texas Coast Coastal protection is a priority of Texas Land Commissioner, George P. Bush. As the steward of state-owned lands, the Texas General Land Office (GLO) is responsible for management of the Texas coastline

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