Everybody with any kind of clout about what happens in the greater Houston-Galveston area is in agreement that we need to build an Ike Dike sooner, rather than later. As soon as possible.
According to Dan Seal of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, who spoke to the Community Advisory Committee recently, it’s going to be up to us to convince the U.S. House of Representatives to fund the project.
He said, among many things, that the people in Holland are all wondering why we have not already built it.
He also said the part we need to protect our central section is really not going to cost that much; $5 billion to $8 billion. Fixing the entire Gulf Coast will run $11 billion to $15 billion. Not nearly as much as the feds gave to New Orleans to protect their city, with many fewer people.
One of the most important facts we have to pass on to all the people in the United States is that if all the refineries and petrochemical plants down here on the gulf are covered with several feet of water, airlines won’t have fuel, cars, buses and trucks won’t have fuel and people who manufacture tires, fertilizer and cosmetics won’t have the raw materials to do their jobs.
The whole country would be in a mess if our part of the world were in a mess.
The term Ike Dike was first used by Bill Merrell of Texas A&M University at Galveston. Proponents of the protection plan are also calling it the Coastal Spine. One name or another, it needs to be built and people who live around here need to help get that done.
Asked about other methods of payment for the project, Seal insisted it had to be done with federal funds. That means we have to sell the House of Representatives on funding it. Part of the money is already available through Harvey funds. The rest needs to get appropriated. Sooner, rather than later.
Here’s the link that tells you how to help: https://buildthecoastalspine.rallycongress.net. Put that in your computer and then follow the directions. If you want to watch a film called “UNPREPARED: A Nation at Risk,” you get it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_Ez1Xvkjqo. There. That’s enough electronics for the day.
Big gates barring the gulf from the bay will protect the entire Houston and Galveston ports, protect more than 3 million jobs and 6 percent of the nation’s Gross National Product. They will protect more than 500 chemical plants, 20 Fortune 500 companies located in Houston, the Texas Medical Center and the Johnson Space Center.
All of that is extremely important to us, of course.
But most of all, it will protect our homes, our schools, our churches and the future of all our children.