On April 3, 2023 in Texas, Land Commissioner, Dawn Buckingham, M.D., announced the release of the 2023 Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan (TCRMP).
The TCRMP proposes a framework to boost the resilience of coastal communities to climate crisis hazards by increasing direct investments in restoring and protecting natural and built coastal environments.
The plan recommends 121 projects prioritized as Tier 1 by the Texas General Land Office (GLO) through close input from a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to mitigate issues that negatively impact the Texas coast.
“Protecting our 367 miles of Texas coastline is vital to our state’s economy,” said Commissioner Buckingham.
“The Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan provides a strategic path in prioritizing projects to ensure long-term resilience of our diverse coastal ecosystems and protecting coastal resources for future generations. I want to thank the hundreds of members of the Technical Advisory Committee for the expertise and leadership they contributed to this comprehensive process,” she added.
The Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan allows for the protection of both coastal infrastructure and natural resources through the implementation of recommended strategies and specific Tier 1 projects to target areas in need of better protection and restoration.
The plan is updated every four years and additionally incorporates the utilization of the most current storm surge and relative sea level rise models to illustrate the need and benefit of these projects into the future. A list of high-priority coastal resiliency initiatives and projects was developed to address risks such as storm surge, inland flooding, shoreline change, and degraded water quality, among others.
The TCRMP is separate from, yet complementary to, ongoing federal coastal protection efforts led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
Federal efforts include the Coastal Texas Program and the Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) Program, which focus on implementation of the Coastal Barrier System and other storm risk reduction projects.
The TCRMP provides a priority list of projects that could be funded through other federal, state, and local funding sources to work towards restoration and protection of areas not currently covered directly by the work of USACE.
While the TCRMP does not provide or guarantee funding to projects, it is designed to demonstrate funding need and cost estimates for proposed projects.
Project initiatives range in status from conceptual to in progress, so actual costs may vary once implementation begins.
The GLO’s four-year planning process engaged hundreds of coastal planners, community leaders and decision-makers, coastal scientists and engineers, ports and navigation professionals, technical experts, resource agency and regulatory staff members, and other key stakeholders as part of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).
The TAC’s assessment of coastal vulnerabilities is supplemented by cutting-edge science and data analysis to inform which natural systems are vulnerable to hazards such as floods, storms, and storm surges and, subsequently, to guide decision-making.
Image of proposed Galveston Bay Park via USACE.