A New Management Paradigm for Texas Beaches

The impetus behind writing the series of articles entitled “A New Management Paradigm for Texas Beaches” was publication and dissemination of information about implications for public beach access and management after the Severance vs Patterson court decision on beach property rights in the State of Texas. The goal of the project was to provide targeted educational and outreach efforts and to influence future legislation related to public beach access in a manner that is compatible with private property rights.

The focus over the Severance vs Patterson court decision was on the ongoing controversy of public access vs private property rights on Texas beaches. The focus for the future needed to be questions such as, "What changes will be required to our constitutional or statutory laws going forward?” Or “How do we manage and maintain the beach in this new environment?” The answers to these questions impact all of us who live, work or play on our Texas beaches.

It was the intent of the series to generate timely dialogue to influence legislation in the 2013 session, which ended in May.  The articles grew into a white paper which was then presented to committee members as they worked on both House and Senate bills on beach matters.  House Bill 3459, sponsored by Rep Craig Eiland, passed and was signed into law.  The law creates a moratorium of up to three years after a hurricane/storm for the beach to grow back before identifying where the public easement would then exist, and is an effort to balance respect for private property with public access.

You may access both the articles and the white paper on this website.

"The Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council (GINTC) is the primary sponsor of a coastwide project entitled "A New Management Paradigm for Texas Beaches," which supports the publication and dissemination of information about implications for public beach access and management after the Severance vs Patterson court decision on beach property rights in the State of Texas. The goal of the project is to provide targeted educational and outreach efforts and to influence future legislation related to public beach access in a manner that is compatible with private property rights.

The focus to date over the Severance vs Patterson court decision has been on the ongoing controversy of public access vs private property rights on Texas beaches. The focus for the future needs to be questions such as, "What changes will be required to our constitutional or statutory laws going forward?” Or “How do we manage and maintain the beach in this new environment?” The answers to these questions will impact all of us who live, work or play on our Texas beaches.

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