State of the Beach/State Reports/TX/Beach Description
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The Texas shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico is primarily a barrier coast, consisting of barrier islands and beaches. Approximately 80 miles of the shoreline are not fronted by barrier islands. Also only about 80 miles of the undeveloped Texas coast is developable. The balance is held in natural seashores, national wildlife refuges, and state parks.
- Fact 1: Miles of Coast: 3,359
- Fact 2: 367 miles of Gulf coastline
- Fact 3: Coastal Population (2000): 5,211,014
- Fact 4: 33% of the state's population lives within coastal counties
Contact Info for the Lead Coastal Zone Management Agency
Texas General Land Office
Coastal Management Program
P.O. Box 12873
Austin, TX 78711-2873
Phone: (800) 998-4GLO
Coastal Management Program Team Leader
Grant Program & Support
Texas General Land Office
Phone: 512) 475-1393
Coastal Zone Management Program
Texas coastal managers are confronting issues of dredging, erosion, beach access, and wetlands and dune protection. The coastal resources program seeks to balance commercial and recreational activity with preservation of Texas' unique coastal resources. Chemical production and oil and gas exploration, processing, and refining are the state's top coastal industries. Coastal tourism, the state's second largest industry, is also important to the state's economy.
The Coastal Management Program (CMP) coordinates state, local, and federal programs for the management of Texas' coastal resources. The program received federal approval in 1997.
The Coastal Coordination Council (Council) administers the CMP. The Commissioner of the General Land Office (GLO) chairs the Council. The other members of the Council are the chair of the Parks and Wildlife Commission, or a member of the commission designated by the chair; the chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), or a member of the commission designated by the chair; a member of the Railroad Commission of Texas appointed by that commission; the Chair of the Texas Water Development Board, or a member of the commission designated by the chair; the chair of the Texas Transportation Commission, or a member of the commission designated by the chair; a member of the State Soil and Water Conservation Board appointed by that board; the director of the Texas A&M University Sea Grant Program, serving as a non-voting member; and four gubernatorial appointees. The appointees are a local elected official who resides in the coastal area, an owner of a business who resides in the coastal area, a resident from the coastal area, and a representative of agriculture.
The Council is charged with adopting uniform goals and policies to guide decision-making by all entities regulating or managing natural resource use within the Texas coastal area. The Council reviews significant actions taken or authorized by state agencies and subdivisions that may adversely affect coastal natural resources to determine their consistency with the CMP goals and policies. In addition, the Council oversees the CMP Grants Program and the Permit Service Center, which has offices in Galveston and Corpus Christi.
NOAA's latest evaluation of Texas' Coastal Management Program can be found here.
- Written correspondence from Sally S. Davenport, past TCMP Director, GLO. August 9, 2000
- Texas Coastal management program. http://www.glo.state.tx.us/coastal/cmp.html
- Surfrider Foundation 2002 State of the Beach report survey response
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