Editor’s note: Below is the text of a letter The Daily News submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about its Tentatively Selected Plan for a coastal storm barrier. The letter was submitted as part of the corps’ official public comment period, which is scheduled to end Jan. 9.

Dear Colonel Zetterstrom:

The Daily News respectfully requests the proposed Tentatively Selected Plan be re-evaluated in order to more accurately represent the wishes of Galveston County residents.

Additionally, the feedback and the public comment period should remain open beyond the January 9, 2019 deadline to allow for a wider, more representative volume of commenting.

The proposed plan is not within the wishes of the participating community. We recommend this project to be paused and informatively re-evaluated to better match the wishes of Galveston County.

While we appreciate the desire to engineer a powerful defensive project to protect life and property, we also highly value the quality of life of our communities. These projects threaten to dramatically alter the living landscape beyond reasonable recognition. By doing so, the projects threaten the unique quality of life this region represents.

First of all, the so-called ring levee aspect of the proposed plan is offensive and impractical to those who live on Galveston Island. To create man-made barriers separating neighbors from neighbors is a non-starter. Furthermore, building barriers along state highways and leaving others exposed, is equally a non-starter.

Our community is looking for manageable storm mitigation choices — not dramatically altering both the face and living choices of the island forever. This applies for the residents of Bolivar Peninsula, as you witnessed in the December 15th meeting.

Secondly, we ask you to base your re-evaluation on environmentally less impactful designs such as dune development and less obtrusive surge protection. Doing so will reduce the full brunt of any potential storm, but also protect the unique quality of life along the coastline.

Finally, we respect the fact man is no match for Mother Nature. We can build what we wish, but we also know from experience the force and fury these storms can unleash on our communities. The Great Storm of 1900, Hurricane Ike in 2008 and most recently Hurricane Harvey in 2017 are forever etched in our memories and character.

We are looking for a balance of mitigating the full effects of storms on human life first and property second, balanced with maintaining the unique quality of life our communities afford.

Please take the strong and vocal opinions of those attending and reaching out into consideration as you revisit the the plan. We are counting on you to deliver an effective and balanced proposal we can broadly support across our community.

Thank you for your serious consideration of these requests.


Leonard Woolsey, Publisher

The Daily News

Leonard Woolsey: 409-683-5207; leonard.woolsey@galvnews.com

President & Publisher

(16) comments

Randy Chapman

A better idea would be to make the Texas City Dike part of the Ike Dike. It's already most of the way across the bay and could be upgraded, and the eastern end could tie in north of Hwy 87, and continue east. Galveston and Bolivar could then be left alone to deal with storms as best they can without bothering anyone living there. The current levee system around southern Texas City and La Marque would need upgrading, but again, a levee is already there, so impact would be minimal.

Paula Flinn

“Galveston and Bolivar could then be left alone to deal with storms as best they can without bothering anyone living there.” Thanks a lot! How would you like that if you had a home here? Galveston is worth saving, and so is Bolivar.’

Randy Chapman

No one can agree to anything in Galveston or Bolivar. And it appears no one wants anything that will change any view in either place. Galveston and Bolivar residents need to remember this isn't about only them, it's about the entire area north of them that surrounds Galveston Bay.

Jarvis Buckley

Leonard I like the letter. I hope this is a new trend of the GDN . When recommending political candidates I hope you consider what the wishes of the residents are, and forgo the editorial boards liberal political bias.
Just my thoughts✌️.

Rusty Schroeder

Now Jarvis, make sure you are fully awake when you awake from your dream. :)

Paul Hyatt

What the Corps should also be looking at is the cleaning of the bayous and diversionary canals.... I do believe that if the canals and the bayous in our area had been cleaned out that our area would NOT have gone down like it did....

Randy Chapman

So Galveston wouldn't have flooded during Ike if the ditches were clean? This isn't about Harvey. Apples and oranges.

Jarvis Buckley

Paul you are right about cleaning the canals & bayous. The county can apply for grants from GLO just for that purpose.
Probably so much trash in canals & bayous from hurricanes. Seems like HOA's could apply for grants also .

Steve Fouga

In my opinion, the Corps's report was a good first start. It accomplished its mission: it scoped the project and generated comment. If I were tasking the Corps, I would suggest re-scoping the project to better account for Harvey-like storms. We might ultimately learn that it's impossible to deny both Ike and Harvey with the same structures (and maybe at the same time), but in doing so, we'll learn a lot about mitigating either scenario.

Jarvis Buckley

Probably not gonna happen is it Rusty😀

Rusty Schroeder

No sir, but who knows, it's Christmas and a week after that it's a New Year :)

Don Schlessinger

It can't happen, there's a little green worm, or a little purple fly that depend on clogged creeks and streams that will die out if you clean things up.

margo holst

It looks like the Ike Dike is a classical example of Not In My Backyard American mentality.

Don Schlessinger

Are front yard.

Don Schlessinger

OOPS: Didn't proof read, Or front yard.

George Croix

Ten years studying and planning and already calls for a "do-over' from the voice of the local 4th estate, along with mixed enthusiasm from the rest of us.
I'd like to amend my previous 'not in my lifetime' prediction to include not in my next one, either....[beam]

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