Coastal District Board meets in BC Wednesday
Last updated 11/7/2023 at 6:56pm
The Gulf Coast Protection District, a special state agency overseeing the seawall-levee system plans, will meet in Bridge City at 10 a.m. Wednesday, November 8. The public meeting will be in the Bridge City Community Center, 105 Parkside Drive off Roundbunch Road.
Orange County Precinct 3 Commissioner Kirk Roccaforte, who represents the Bridge City area, represents the county on the special district's board. He invited the public to the meeting, which will be the first held locally.
The meeting agenda includes a report from the Orange County Drainage District, which has taken charge of this county's part of the project.
The special district has five counties, all bordering parts of the upper Texas Gulf Coast. The counties are Orange, Jefferson, Chambers, Galveston, and Harris. Each county has a representative on the board that is appointed by each commissioners court.
The Gulf Coast Protection District was created by the Texas Legislature in 2021. The governor appoints six members to the board and five other members are from each of the five counties.
The purpose of the group is to help provide the non-federal money needed to build a flood protection system for Orange County-Sabine Pass to Galveston. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District is overseeing the project.
Planning work has been ongoing in Orange County for 26 miles of earthen levees plus some type of seawall from Bridge City eastward to Orange and up the Sabine River to Interstate 10. Besides the levees and seawalls, the project is to include gate locks at bayou entrances to prevent sea surge, plus drainage pumps to help get rain water out of the county quicker.
The idea for a coastal flood barrier developed after Hurricane Ike in 2008 sent a storm surge that inundated most of the Texas coast, including widespread flooding in Bridge City, along with the southern part of the county with parts of Orange, West Orange, Pinehurst, Vidor, and Rose City.
The proposal was first nicknamed the "Ike Dike," but has gone through other names. It is now called the "Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Coastal Barrier."