Author’s note: This is the third in a series describing nine changes we would propose to the U. S. Army Corp of Engineer’s Tentatively Selected Plan based upon our Ike Dike-related research over the past decade.

In our first commentary (“Army Corps’ coastal spine plan needs some changes,” The Daily News, Dec. 12) we discussed Change No. 1: Move the corp’s proposed levee and flood-wall land barriers from behind the coastal highways to the coast and construct the protection needed as natural appearing fortified dunes.

William Merrell is president emeritus, regents professor and Mitchell chair of the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores, Texas A&M University at Galveston.

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C. Patterson

I very much respect and appreciate Dr. Merrill’s work on hurricane protection, but I do have to take issue with his apparent de-emphasis of the need for some type of surge protection on the back side of Galveston Island, ie the ring levee. Every study I have reviewed.....SSPEED, GCCPRD, and the Surge Study by Jackson State University...all conclude that while the gates at Bolivar Roads, and to a much lesser extent, San Luis Pass, will reduce storm surge in Galveston Bay, they do not eliminate it, and without some type of additional protection, the City remains vulnerable to the type of flooding it experienced during Ike. Yes, pumps will be required, but unless the City is willing to undergo another grade raising effort, pumps are going to become a reality as our current gravity storm drainage systems become less and less effective as sea levels/tides continue to rise. There is now a opportunity to incorporate both rainfall and hurricane needs into the design of the future pumping systems for the City. Would encourage all to review those same studies....they are all readily available with a little Googling

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