Area officials get look at Netherland’s dikes

The Southeast Texas delegation learns how The Netherlands’ coastal barrier system has saved that area from storms during recent tour. Among the crowd are, from left, District 22 State Rep. Joe Deshotel and State Sen. Larry Taylor, co-chairmen of Texas’ Joint Interim Committee on Coastal Barrier Systems; Nassau Bay Mayor Mark Denman, Elizabeth Seal, retired Lockheed Martin Vice President John Wilkins, James Earthman III, State Sen. Sylvia Garcia, Dist. 144 State Rep. Mary Ann Perez, Houston City Councilmen Dave Martin and David Robinson, District 132 State Rep. Bill Callegari and Seabrook Mayor Glenn Royal.

The Southeast Texas delegation learns how The Netherlands’ coastal barrier system has saved that area from storms during recent tour. Among the crowd are, from left, District 22 State Rep. Joe Deshotel and State Sen. Larry Taylor, co-chairmen of Texas’ Joint Interim Committee on Coastal Barrier Systems; Nassau Bay Mayor Mark Denman, Elizabeth Seal, retired Lockheed Martin Vice President John Wilkins, James Earthman III, State Sen. Sylvia Garcia, Dist. 144 State Rep. Mary Ann Perez, Houston City Councilmen Dave Martin and David Robinson, District 132 State Rep. Bill Callegari and Seabrook Mayor Glenn Royal.

A 42-member delegation from southeast Texas embarked on a second fact-finding trip to The Netherlands in late September, in order to gain a better understanding of how a coastal barrier system such as the Netherlands’ Delta Works project could protect the Galveston Bay area from horrendous hurricanes.

The delegation included two state senators, four state representatives, four mayors and two members of Houston City Council. Two members of the delegation, Sen. Larry Taylor and Rep. Joe Deshotel, co-chair Texas’ Joint Interim Committee on Coastal Barrier Systems.

The Delta Works project in the Netherlands is a massive chain of flood protection structures constructed after the North Sea flood in February 1953 that drowned 1,835 people.

It is the largest storm barrier system in the world. The project was completed in 1997, and the risk of flooding was reduced to one in 4,000 years. The barrier system has worked on numerous occasions to protect the delta, which is especially prone to flooding during the spring tide.

Bob Mitchell, president of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, was a member of the delegation. He said, “Everything that we learned while on the trip just further strengthened our belief that a system like the Ike Dike concept would safeguard our families and industries well into the future.”

Leave a Reply