TX - Guest commentary: Galveston Park Board right to seek decisive ruling on beach ownership
Beach renourishment benefits property owners, tourism, small businesses, the general public and residents. It creates jobs, raises the overall standard of living and protects our barrier island ecosystem. Lastly, it guarantees enjoyment by future generations.
Renourishment is an ongoing process, the funding of which comes from various government entities, public grants and tourism revenues.
Renourishment will eventually extend from the seawall to 13 Mile Road and funding secured must only renourish public lands.
The Texas General Land Office approved a survey showing all beachfront from 61st Street to 103rd street is owned by the state. The processes and clear laws governing public beach access and state ownership of land long submerged have been in place for years.
The Park Board of Trustees, a highly legitimate and transparent organization that stands for the rule of law, leases and manages the beaches on behalf of the public. The board works for us. It provides safety and lifesaving resources, overall maintenance and cleaning and nourishes the beaches.
June 29, 2021, by Zlatan Hrvacevic, Dredging Today
Recently, the park board filed an action to stop a private owner from trying to regain ownership on land deemed submerged and transferred to the state then renourished with funds from the park board, the city, the land office, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Treasury.
Apparently, no claims or issues were raised at numerous public forums after notice was published to renourish the land in question.
The park board and land office followed the rules to ensure all nourished lands were deemed public and will no doubt do so from the seawall to 13 Mile Road.
Depending on the outcome of the current case, additional rulings may be needed, more time might be wasted, and more money may be spent to convince “landowners,” who fight against the citizens of Texas and rule of law, they can’t profit off forfeited submerged land.
Any attempt to assert private ownership after land has been deemed submerged and transferred to the state, then reclaimed with government funding, must be countered. In the Severance and Poretto cases, unless erosion was natural over an extended period of time, ownership did not transfer to the state. Therefore, it seems reasonable that a non-natural engineered beach accretion (reverse erosion) should be viewed in a similar fashion and the state should retain ownership.