ClearWorld November 2017 - Page 13

The Galveston Bay Process

The submitting team was engaged with local hydrologists, ecologists, geologists, and a university architecture department to create environmental/social/economic inventories, regional site analysis, proposed planning recommendations, and site specific design interventions.

Team hydrologists initially provided revised storm models derived from advanced engineering technologies. The 25 ft. elevation was defined as the limit of the 1% storm event and elevations 0 to 5 ft. were found to be susceptible to frequent inundation. These parameters were used to create a layered approach that responded to 2010 census data, a projected doubling of regional population in 25 years, current land values, emergency service facilities, limited evacuation routes, toxic dispersal potential, natural barrier island migration patterns, public open spaces, primary ecosystems identified by regional, national, and international ecologists, and a published team research report analyzing 28 significant state, national, and international parks relative to their economic sustainability, population proximity, and annual visitorship.

Recommendation 2: Utilizing the Public Domain

Existing public lands can be used as a cost effective means for implementation. Rather than purchasing private property, structural solutions are designed to seamlessly occur within public rights of way already in need of infrastructure improvements. For example, the team’s largest structural intervention calls for elevating a portion of coastal Highway 146 to create a West Bay levee protecting large population centers and providing tidal marsh restoration opportunities.

South bay elevations from 0 to 5 ft. contain broad marshlands with considerable parcels under public ownership. This area’s unique biodiversity defines the bay’s established national and international ecotourism reputation. As a result, a major component of the project is the creation of a National Recreation Area (NRA) in this zone. Located within an hour drive of the nation’s fourth largest metropolitan area, an organized framework plan with a sensitive footprint has immense potential. To date, this proposal has been adopted by an organized action committee and has and continues to gain the support with local Galveston Bay communities.

Recommendation 3: Economic Sustainability

Establishing an NRA will have considerable economic impact. Its designation would be an act of congress, require no tax money to create, and all participation would be voluntary. Harbinger Consulting Group estimates that after a decade the NRA would attract 1.5 million annual visitors, create 5,260 jobs, and generate $192 million. Its economic impact would quadruple after 10 yrs. and tourism would triple. The collaborative management structure of the NRA ensures that existing communities will be involved in its development and can profit from its formation.

Implementation

Severe storms are a reality. Recent foreshadowing in Galveston Bay has resulted in a new discourse on its future. This project provides a diversity of pragmatic solutions that are gaining both political and community support in the region. Risk taking? The odds are not favorable.

Citizens become most valuable when these disasters occur. ClearWorld’s goal will continue to provide lighting in times of need with an off-grid stand-alone reliable light source that is maintained through most severe weather conditions.

Through the use of our cylindrical design, it is capable of withstanding 150 MPH winds, making it hurricane resistant. Because all components are installed at the top of the light pole, it is also flood resistant as well. A flood won’t affect your off grid power because it is so high off of the ground.

It is with these measures that ClearWorld makes energy-efficient living a possibility, even for those who experience tragic loss at the hands of natural disasters. By investing in solar energy, cities should continue to provide a safe environment for residents, even during the threat of flooding, severe storms, and wind damage.

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