The sea level off the coast of Texas is up to 18 inches higher than it was in 1950.1 This increase is mostly due to the sinking land, due to the pumping of large volumes of groundwater from deep in the earth, and is causing major issues. Solutions to this are complicated and involve filling the voids that have been created underground. As the sea level rises, it makes existing coastal flooding more severe and it erodes beaches, eventually submerging both wetlands and dry land. Many types of birds and fish that the state is home to depend on tidal wetlands. There are already over 13,607 properties at risk from frequent tidal flooding in Texas.2 The state is planning over $12 billion in sea level rise solutions, which include storm surge protection, drainage and erosion control, and flood mitigation projects.
Sea level rise is speeding up
The sea level around Galveston, Texas, has risen by 18 inches since 1950. Its speed of rise has accelerated over the last ten years, and is now rising by nearly 1 inch every year.1 Scientists know this because the sea level is measured every 6 minutes using equipment like satellites, floating buoys off the coast, and tidal gauges to accurately measure the local sea level as it accelerates and changes.3
SEA LEVEL MEASUREMENT FROM GALVESTON AREA TIDE GAUGE SINCE 1950