Category Archives: SWD Commander

Brig. Gen. David Hill

Hurricane Harvey Recovery Roundtable

(left to right) Galveston District Public Affairs Officer, Lt. Col. Mark Williford, Galveston District Project Manager, Sheri Willey, U.S. Senator John Cornyn, Southwestern Division Commander, Brig. Gen. Paul E. Owen and Director of Programs, Senior Executive Service, Mark L. Mazzanti

Southwestern Division Commander, Brig. Gen. Paul E. Owen and Director of Programs, Senior Executive Service, Mark L. Mazzanti attend a Flood Protection Roundtable hosted by U.S. Senator John Cornyn at Lamar State College in Port Arthur, Texas July 20.

The meeting was called to discuss the Corps of Engineers $5 billion plan for flood control in Texas. The funds were allocated through a Congressional disaster supplemental package in the Bipartisan Budget Act earlier this year.

Cornyn, along Corps’ project managers took time to answer questions from Golden Triangle mayors concerning planned flood risk mitigation funding. Phil Kelly, Executive Director of Jefferson Counties Drainage District No. 7, also provided an update on the area’s levee concerns. Also in attendance: Bill McCoy – President, Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce, Southeast Texas Plant Managers Forum Drainage District committee, John Durkay – General Counsel, Industrial Safety Training Council Mark Skobel, Plant Manager, Valero refinery and chair of the Southeast Texas Plant Managers Forum Drainage District committee, Shaun Davis – Executive Director, South East Texas Regional Planning Commission. Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick served as Moderator.

Happy Birthday Galveston District!

Happy 137th Birthday to our “Custodians of the Coast,” the Galveston District!   Wow – 137 years; one of the oldest Districts in the Corps.

Your remarkable history of withstanding disasters to provide dedicated support to local communities and the nation served you well this past year, as you took on Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. With an impact on so many of your mission areas—emergency management, flood risk management, navigation, regulatory, and others– Harvey challenged each member of the District to accomplish even more.  And accomplish you did.  We all applaud your efforts and actions.

Galveston District has had a strong record as Pacesetters since the arrival of the Galveston engineer to oversee river and harbor improvements on Feb. 25, 1880.  The District built the world’s longest jetties in 1897, helped Galveston recover from the devastation of the Great Storm in 1900 and build the iconic Galveston Seawall, served though two World Wars and other conflicts.  And of course, and more recently, the District withstood and handled Hurricanes Ike and Harvey, two of the costliest hurricanes in our history.  All the while, you have continued your strong tradition of maintaining and protecting the Texas Coast, with its fragile ecosystem and economic powerhouse,   and the people who live there.

The Galveston District has earned quite a birthday celebration this year!  Celebrate your iconic past and all your accomplishments, and continue to look forward to exciting and challenging times to come.

Happy Birthday to each of you!


Paul E. Owen, P.E.
Brigadier General, US Army Corps of Engineers
Commander, Southwestern Division