U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
With more powerful storms more frequently hitting the Gulf Coast of Texas, the need for infrastructure improvements to coastal and bay areas of the state has become crucially important. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) developed a multiyear, multibillion-dollar project with a geospatial strategy at its core to protect the coast from the effects of climate change. When complete, the almost $32 billion Coastal Texas Mega Project is poised to be one of the largest civil infrastructure projects ever in the country, at a scale bigger than the Panama Canal. Given the magnitude of the work, the USACE is using GIS to analyze and model impacts, plan its large infrastructure investments, as well as communicate with stakeholders how the Coastal Texas Mega Project will affect residents and the environment in the geographical area.
- GIS is at the foundation of the Coastal Texas Project, with the USACE using GIS for planning and analysis, and communication to assist in securing funding.
- Communication with stakeholders and the public is important to the success of the project. USACE is making the analyses and data used in planning open and available to the public on an ArcGIS Hub site to keep everyone informed on progress and impact.
- In Galveston, many homes are just two feet above sea level. Engaging information products on the Hub site (like swipe maps) help to communicate what could happen without the proper infrastructure in place to mitigate flood inundation. Dashboards summarize impact to property and critical emergency services, helping decision-makers, stakeholders and the public understand the benefits of the project.
- By integrating and examining data from the social vulnerability index, the USACE can identify areas where this population would be most impacted by coastal flooding.
- ArcGIS StoryMaps help the USACE deliver insight into the environmental impacts of the project such as how proposed structures impact dredging and the impact on the movement of fish in and out of the bay.
- The endangered Kemps Sea Turtle nests on the Galveston beaches in the project area. The USACE shares summaries with the public on its analysis of impact to wildlife and address any possible concern.
- USACE is looking forward and embracing geospatial technology now and in the future, using a geospatial infrastructure to ensure physical infrastructure is ready.