Galveston Island State Park Master Plan
Hurricanes often have dramatic effects on barrier islands, and the impact of 2008’s Hurricane Ike on Galveston Island, Texas was no exception. Yet the hurricane left in its wake a keen awareness of the need to address the consequences of such storms and their dramatic effects on the island. It also catalyzed a master planning effort to guide the redevelopment, management, protection and restoration of Galveston Island State Park, a treasured natural and recreational resource that is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the south and West Bay of Galveston Bay to the north.
Despite being surrounded by developed land, this 2,300-acre park is home to a variety of natural habitats, including beach and dunes, coastal strand prairie, tidal marsh and seagrass beds.
Biohabitats provided professional services as a key member of the planning team. The plan produced for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, looks out on a 50-year horizon, addressing not only coastal storms, land use, and infrastructure needs, but also projected sea level rise and morphology changes.
After conducting an inventory and assessment of the park’s natural resources, we performed spatial modeling to project the impacts of sea level rise on the landscape, and how habitats may shift accordingly. Next, this information was utilized to develop a plan to guide the restoration and management of park habitats.
This project received a 2017 ASLA Award of Excellence in Analysis & Planning.