Public access, water quality continue to improve

Land Commissioner George P. Bush today announced $1.74 million for projects to improve public beach access and help restore sensitive bay systems on the Texas coast.

“These projects were carefully selected to be a good investment for the Texas coast,” Bush said. “We’re able to accomplish some pretty ambitious goals — like improving water quality in the bays — with these relatively small grants by working smartly with local coastal communities.”

The grants flow from the General Land Office’s Coastal Management Program, which has funded nearly $40 million in coastal grants since 1994. Coastal Management Program grants have made it easier for the public to get to the beach, restored wetlands, revitalized waterfronts and educated the public about the coast.

Projects on the Upper Texas Coast include:

  • Port Neches Riverfront Enhancement Planning & Design Project, $45,000

The City of Port Neches will prepare a comprehensive plan for developing the riverfront.By having a plan available, the City will have “shovel ready” projects as funding opportunities arise to proceed with revitalization efforts.As envisioned, the plan for this area would be consistent with CMP objectives involving waterfront revitalization to increase shoreline accessibility to the coastal zone, enhanced recreational utilization, and improved public enjoyment.

Contact: Taylor Shelton, 409-719-4204

  • Port Neches River Front Enhancement Clean Up Project (Phase I), $85,000

The City of Port Neches will remove derelict structures and debris from its riverfront that constitute an impediment to safe recreational boating, tanker/barge traffic, and general use of the area by the public.

Contact: Taylor Shelton, 409-719-4204

  • Bucket Brigade – What is in our water?, $99,816

The Artist Boat, Inc. will engage between 100,000 to 200,000 beachgoers of all ages on Galveston Island in place-based learning events to promote improved perceptions and attitudes toward water and sediment quantity and quality on Texas gulf waters and beaches. Transforming impressions of poor water quality based on water clarity, sediments and sargassum in the water, and the larger role of non-point source pollution (litter, marine debris, and chemicals) transported from across oceans and down watersheds will promote increased actions at home to improve water quality on Texas gulf waters and beaches.

Contact: Karla Klay, 409-770-0722

  • The Wetland Plant Partnership, $97,615

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will design and construct storm water wetland demonstration projects in Galveston, Brazoria and Harris counties, a three-county region that contributes flows to Galveston Bay. Funding will also be used to construct a plant nursery, which will provide stock for the storm water wetland demonstration projects, and to educate students and volunteers on the values of wetlands.

Contact: Dr. John Jacob, 281-218-6352

Projects funded that will have an impact across the coast are:

  • Texas Coastal Planning Program: Providing Technical Assistance to Texas Coastal Communities, $31,000

Texas A&M University will support land-use and environmental-related planning in Texas coastal communities that lack the planning capacity or knowledge to effectively prepare for issues, such ascoastal environmental hazards and economic development.Texas A&M University will provide training, tools, and assistance necessary to facilitate the transformation of communities from high risk/low opportunity to equitable, resilient, and adaptive, by mitigating the threats to the economy, environment, and culture.

Contact: Josh Gunn, 409-741-7115

  • Cataloguing Texas Coastal Species Interactions: A Database for Coastal Managers, Scientists and Educators, $52,000

Texas A&M University will support land-use and environmental-related planning in Texas coastal communities that lack the planning capacity or knowledge to effectively prepare for issues,such ascoastal environmental hazards and economic development.Texas A&M University will provide training, tools, and assistance necessary to facilitate the transformation of communities from high risk/low opportunity to equitable, resilient, and adaptive, by mitigating the threats to the economy, environment, and culture.

Contact: Dr. James Simons

Texas High School Coastal Monitoring Program, $31,000

  • Texas A&M University will support land-use and environmental-related planning in Texas coastal communities that lack the planning capacity or knowledge to effectively prepare for issues,  such as  coastal environmental hazards and economic development.  Texas A&M University will provide training, tools, and assistance necessary to facilitate the transformation of communities from high risk/low opportunity to equitable, resilient, and adaptive, by mitigating the threats to the economy, environment, and culture.

Contact: Tiffany Caudle, 512-475-9572.

To learn more about the Texas General Land Office Coastal Management Program, visit www.glo.texas.gov/what-we-do/caring-for-the-coast/grants-funding/cmp/.

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