Texas Matters: Texas Spine, Endangered Turtles & Bitcoins | Texas Public Radio

Texas Matters: Texas Spine, Endangered Turtles & Bitcoins

Aug 24, 2018

Will an ambitious $12 billion project called the Texas Spine protect the Gulf Coast from future hurricane storm surges and who will pay for it? We'll hear from Len Waterworth, a retired coloniel in the Army Corp of Engineers, and Brandt Mannchen, with the Sierra Club.  Then, Texas turtle meat is now off the menu in Asia now that the shell-shocked reptile is protected (17:41). And can Bitcoin make it rain money again in Rockdale? (22:41).


One proposed defense against the massively destructive storm surge is a mega-project called the Texas Spine. It’s an ambitious plan to build a nearly 60 mile systems of seawalls, dikes, earthen barriers, floating gates and steel levees along the Texas Gulf Coast.

The state is seeking at least $12 billion for the full coastal spine. Last month, the federal government approved the initial $4 billion for three separate projects to protect oil facilities.

Turtle Power

There are 28 different types of freshwater turtles found in Texas. And, this week, they were all made off limits to professional turtle hunters, collecting the critters for commercial harvest.

Jenny Loda i an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity.

Bitcoin, Texas

Bitcoin has seen better days — and so has the town of Rockdale. But now, the future fortunes of the two are intertwined in the world’s largest bitcoin mining facility in the town of about 5,000. Kara Clore, the executive director of the Rockdale municipal development district, joins us to discuss.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org or on Twitter @DavidMartinDavi