Houston Matters

Privatization of Beaches: What’s At Stake in Galveston

The Houston Chronicle recently reported on a conflict between a Galveston resident and the city’s Park Board over who rightfully owns a section of Galveston beach in front of the seawall. Resident Frank Maceo says that portion of the beach belongs to him. City officials say Maceo’s claim could endanger plans to re-sand some of the […]

The Houston Chronicle recently reported on a conflict between a Galveston resident and the city’s Park Board over who rightfully owns a section of Galveston beach in front of the seawall. Resident Frank Maceo says that portion of the beach belongs to him. City officials say Maceo’s claim could endanger plans to re-sand some of the eroding beaches. It’s not the first time property owners have staked claims to portions of a beach in Galveston. A similar case went before the Texas Supreme Court, and in 2012 the court ruled in favor of the property owner.

At the center of the debate is the Open Beaches Act, which was added to the state constitution in 2009 and guarantees the public the right to free and unrestricted access to Texas beaches along the state’s coastline.

We discuss the privatization of beaches and what’s at stake in Galveston.

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