The Dutch Know How To Prevent Coastal Flooding


Texas A&M-Galveston students and faculty traveled to The Netherlands to see how a proposed ‘Ike Dike’ would work in Texas.

The structure is over 70 feet high with steel gates nearly 700 feet long and weighs in at nearly 7500 tons.

“It looks like the Eiffel Tower set on its side. It’s certainly impressive,” says Dr. William Merrell, pointing to The Netherland’s Maeslant Barrier.

Merrell, the George P. Mitchell ’40 chair in marine sciences at Texas A&M University at Galveston and professor in the university’s Center for Texas Beaches & Shores, has made multiple trips to the Netherlands over the past decade studying the country’s famous flood storm surge barrier in hopes of constructing one similar to it in the Greater Houston-Galveston area, a project he has termed the “Ike Dike.”

Merrell’s additional mission with the visits has been to inform staff, students and stakeholders about the novel flood mitigation techniques perfected by the Dutch to bring back home to Galveston Bay.

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Image via Texas A&M University