HOUSTON, TX – As part of the 88th Regular Texas Legislative Session, which concluded in May, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1, the general appropriations bill, which provides approximately $550 million to the Gulf Cost Protection District (GCPD) and its programs. This funding will allow the GCPD to continue supporting the advancement of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)-led Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay (S2G) and Coastal Texas programs, for which the GCPD serves as a non-federal sponsor. When completed, these programs will provide critically needed protection from coastal storm surge to communities, nationally important industries, and vital ecosystems on the Texas coast.
Specifically, this funding will enable the GCPD to meet its cost-share obligations for additional construction contracts for the Port Arthur Project and the detailed design of the Orange County Project, both of which are components of the S2G program. In addition, these funds will allow the GCPD and the USACE to launch the initial phases of the Coastal Texas program, which was authorized by Congress in December 2022.
“We want to express our appreciation to the State Legislature, especially Chairs Huffman and Bonnen, and all of the legislators who supported this funding,” said GCPD Board President Michel Bechtel. “This support will allow the GCPD to continue moving forward with our partnership programs with the USACE.”
The S2G and Coastal Texas programs represent an integrated and comprehensive coastal resiliency strategy to address a wide array of immediate and long-term coastal risk reduction and ecosystem restoration needs across the Texas coast. Completing these projects will not only protect those who live and work along the coast, but also enhances the strength and resiliency of our interconnected state and national economies and the global supply chain. Critically, the Texas Gulf Coast is home to 30% of the nation’s total refining capacity, 60% of the nation’s aviation fuel, 42% of the nation’s specialty chemical feedstock, and 80% of the nation’s military-grade fuel.
"This funding highlights the State Legislature’s commitment to preparing Texas to better withstand and more quickly recover from future hurricanes, keeping families safe and the engines of our economy running while safeguarding unique environmental resources along the coast,” said Bechtel. “We are ready and excited to continue our work with the USACE, stakeholders, and our partners to advance these essential programs and to efficiently deliver much needed protection from coastal storm surge.”
The Gulf Coast Protection District (GCPD) was created in 2021 by the 87th Texas Legislature to oversee the implementation of an integrated and comprehensive coastal resilience strategy for the upper Texas coast. Specifically, this includes assuming the role of non-federal sponsor for major portions of the federally funded and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers led Coastal Texas Program and Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Program. The GCPD contains approximately 5,220 square miles of land covering Chambers, Galveston, Harris, Jefferson, and Orange counties. The GCPD’s mission is to protect Gulf Coast communities, the environment, and economic activity from storm surge. For more information about the GCPD, visit https://www.gcpdtexas.com/.