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Galveston Park Board and West End Homeowners Agree to Beach Grooming Protocol
GALVESTON ISLAND, Texas -- (June 27, 2019) – In an effort to balance the desire for clean beaches with the benefits of seaweed to the environment and wildlife, the Galveston Park Board has reached an agreement with homeowners’ associations on the island’s west end that will allow permitted 3rd party vendors to groom the beach in front of participating neighborhoods.
Under this agreement, vendors will work under the Park Board’s federal permit as a third party on behalf of homeowners’ associations and must adhere to federal regulations and local restrictions. Homeowners’ associations will be able to use approved equipment to groom the beaches of large deposits of seaweed only when it covers a surface area of height on the beach that is dictated by United States Army Corp of Engineer (USACE) regulations.
In order to ensure that the material on the beaches is measured using USACE guidelines, the Park Board will hire an Environmental Quality Control Officer to assess the beach conditions, and notify vendors if conditions are favorable for grooming. The officer will also be responsible for community outreach and education about the dynamic nature of the coastal zone as well as monitoring the environmental practices of our concessionaires along the beachfront. Funding for this position will come from permit fees the associations will pay to the Park Board and other budgetary sources.
Because seaweed is beneficial to beaches and marine life, including sea turtles, all parties will commit to notifying Turtle Island Restoration Network of any grooming activities and have wildlife monitor present when work is being done.
Associations interested in participating in the program can contact the Park Board’s Coastal Zone Management office at 409-797-5107. The new program is outlined in the briefing papers from the June 2019 Board of Trustees meeting and available online at www.galvestonparkboard.org/beachgrooming.
About the Park Board of Trustees
The Park Board of Trustees oversees beach maintenance and tourism development on Galveston Island, including operations for beach cleaning, the Galveston Island Beach Patrol and the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau. For more information on the Park Board of Trustees, please visit www.galvestonparkboard.org.