Shifting winds: A victory for island development | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle
Weather forecasters and climatologists have long warned that unbridled development of the vulnerable Gulf Coast is setting the stage for a disaster that might dwarf the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
Coming hard on Katrina’s heels was Rita, which bypassed the Houston-Galveston area but revealed just how difficult a mass evacuation before a fast-moving storm would be. Equally ominous is the continued subsidence of parts of the coastline and the projected rise in sea levels from global warming that would make already flood-prone evacuation routes even more tenuous.
Despite that knowledge, Galveston’s leaders chose to stick their heads in the sand and approve a giant development by the Marquette Cos. on 1,154 acres of the isle’s west end, featuring two beachfront hotels and 4,000 dwellings. The site is beyond the protection of the seawall and vulnerable to even a small storm surge.
In voting for the project, council members ignored citizen protests and a $50,000 study the city commissioned that indicated serious environmental hazards. Just last month, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials recommended to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the project permit be denied because of potential damage to wildlife and wetlands.
As if it’s not already hard enough to get off the island, let’s add 10 to 20 thousand people way out there on the west end. There is one 2 lane road out that way…
Remind me not to buy into this development…