in late May suggest that the infamous Ike Dike is "dead." The Sierra Club does
not believe this is true. The reports quote Galveston County Judge Mark Henry as saying
that "Right now the money doesn't exist and I don't know how we can pay for it."
For those not familiar with the Ike Dike (Where have you been?), Dr. Bill Merrell of
Texas A&M at Galveston in 2009 suggested that a 17 foot high dike, with huge gates for
the passage of large ships through navigation channels, be constructed from High Island to
San Luis Pass. The cost has been estimated at $3 billion. The Sierra Club suspects the
cost will be 3-6 times greater since large engineering projects are often underestimated
(remember the I-10 expansion that went from $500 million to $2.5 billion), because the
cost of inflation has not been factored in, and because financing costs have not been
A six-county Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District (GCCPRD) was created
via state law by Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Harris, Jefferson and Orange Counties to
consider coastal projects including Ike Dike. Funding has been the stumbling block since
the GCCPRD has already chosen a President, former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels and an
engineering firm (Dannenbaum Engineering) to act as the consultant to oversee any studies.
With talk of extending the proposed Ike Dike to Freeport the idea has grown more
gargantuan and expensive as time has passed. So no, the Ike Dike is not dead. Look for
those who will benefit from the Ike Dike, by using public funds to protect hazardous
coastal development of fragile seaside habitats, to team up with politicians to push for
local, state, and federal public funding (that means your taxes, their dike) of studies
which will be used to justify the construction of an Ike Dike. This will be done to keep
the momentum rolling until monies are found to build this "pyramid of folly" for
coastal destruction. Stay tuned and be ready to protect your pockebook!