The Galveston Seawall is a seawall
A seawall is a form of coastal defence constructed where the sea, and associated coastal processes, impact directly upon the landforms of the coast. The purpose of a seawall is to protect areas of human habitation, conservation and leisure activities from the action of tides and waves...
in Galveston, Texas
Galveston is a coastal city located on Galveston Island in the U.S. state of Texas. , the city had a total population of 47,743 within an area of...
, USA that was built after the Galveston Hurricane of 1900
Galveston Hurricane of 1900
The Hurricane of 1900 made landfall on the city of Galveston in the U.S. state of Texas, on September 8, 1900.It had estimated winds of at landfall, making it a Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale...
for protection from future hurricanes. Construction began in September, 1902, and the initial segment was completed on July 29, 1904. From 1904 to 1963, the seawall was extended from 3.3 miles (5.3 km) to over 10 miles (16.1 km) long. Reporting in the aftermath of the 1983 Hurricane Alicia
Hurricane Alicia was the costliest tropical cyclone in the Atlantic since Hurricane Agnes in 1972. Alicia was the third depression, the first tropical storm, and the only major hurricane of the 1983 Atlantic hurricane season...
, the Corps of Engineers estimated that $100 million in damage was avoided because of the seawall. On September 13, 2008 Hurricane Ike
Hurricane Ike was the second-costliest hurricane ever to make landfall in the United States, the costliest hurricane ever to impact Cuba and the second most active hurricane to reach the Canadian mainland in the Great Lakes Region after Hurricane Hazel in 1954...
's storm surge and large waves over-topped the seawall. As a result, a commission was established by the Texas Governor
Governor of Texas
The governor of Texas is the head of the executive branch of Texas's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Texas Legislature, and to convene the legislature...
following the hurricane to investigate preparing for and mitigating future disasters. A proposal has been put forth to build an "Ike Dike
The Ike Dike is a proposed coastal barrier that, when completed, would protect the Galveston Bay in Texas, United States. The project would be a dramatic enhancement of the existing Galveston Seawall, complete with floodgates, which would protect more of Galveston, the Bolivar Peninsula, the...
," a massive levee
A levee, levée, dike , embankment, floodbank or stopbank is an elongated naturally occurring ridge or artificially constructed fill or wall, which regulates water levels...
system which would protect the Galveston Bay
Galveston Bay is a large estuary located along the upper coast of Texas in the United States. It is connected to the Gulf of Mexico and is surrounded by sub-tropic marshes and prairies on the mainland. The water in the Bay is a complex mixture of sea water and fresh water which supports a wide...
, and the important industrial facilities which line the coast and the ship channel
Houston Ship Channel
The Houston Ship Channel, located in Houston, Texas, is part of the Port of Houston—one of the United States's busiest seaports. The channel is the conduit for ocean-going vessels between the Houston-area shipyards and the Gulf of Mexico.-Overview:...
, from a future, potentially more destructive storm. The proposal has gained widespread support from a variety of business interests. it is currently only at the conceptual stage.
Texas F.M. 3005
Farm to Market Road 3005
Farm to Market Road 3005 is a farm to market road in Galveston County, Texas.-Route description:FM 3005 has a western terminus at the approach to the toll bridge over San Luis Pass; the bridge connects to the Bluewater Highway on the Brazoria County side...
, otherwise known as Seawall Boulevard
Seawall Boulevard is a major road in Galveston, Texas in the United States. The boulevard is conterminous with Farm to Market Road 3005 south of 61st Street. It runs along the Gulf coast waterfront of the island near the main parts of the city...
along the wall, runs along the seawall.
The seawall is presently 10 miles (16.1 km) long. It is approximately 17 feet (5.2 m) high, and 16 feet (4.9 m) thick at its base. The seawall was listed in the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...
in 1977 and designated a National Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers
American Society of Civil Engineers
The American Society of Civil Engineers is a professional body founded in 1852 to represent members of the civil engineering profession worldwide. It is the oldest national engineering society in the United States. ASCE's vision is to have engineers positioned as global leaders who strive toward...
(ASCE) in 2001.
Many miles of the seawall are painted with murals called "wall art". These huge murals are painted by children and depict underwater life. The art is meant to make the seawall more interesting to visitors.