- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - Nueces County officials are discussing how to protect the wetlands and dunes of a newly acquired section of Padre Island beach.

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times (https://bit.ly/1BuwmIc ) reports that county commissioner Brent Chesney, along with representatives from the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program and Nueces County Coastal Parks, toured the area Thursday. While surveying the land, the group discussed several concerns including littering, makeshift gun ranges and off-roading.

The area is the residence for several threatened and endangered turtle and bird species. Chesney suggested that one way to protect the beach would be to provide a constable to patrol the area.

For a constable to be placed in the area, Nueces County must come to an agreement with Kleburg County. The city of Corpus Christi is divided between both counties.

Nueces County purchased the section of beach from the Texas General Land Office’s Permanent School Fund for about $630,000 after receiving a $1 million grant from the Ed Rachal Foundation. The rest of the grant money will be used for the area’s maintenance and a law enforcement vehicle.

The decision to buy the beach was divisive. Supporters of the sale believed that it would be better for the county to have ownership of the land. Opponents believed that the Padre Island National Seashore would be better environmental caretakers.

When he took office in January, Chesney said it is important to preserve the habitat while making the land accessible for ecotourism, nature lovers and beachgoers.

“Truly, our intent is to keep it in its natural state,” he said.

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Information from: Corpus Christi Caller-Times, https://www.caller.com


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