In violation of their own rules, a popular and ecologically sensitive recreation area has been leased to a private entity by the General Land Office of Texas and permitted by the US Army Corps of Engineers without public comment, environmental study or disaster planning.
We need to tell them that we do not want a massive chemical storage area in the middle of Lydia Ann Channel. This has to stop.
As reported in the Port Aransas South Jetty, Lydia Ann Channel Moorings, LLC secured a lease in November, 2014 from the Texas General Land Office (GLO) on 65 acres of state owned submerged lands along the eastern shoreline of Lydia Ann Channel, west shoreline of St. Jo Island, to construct 80 structures known as ‘mooring dolphins’ for purposes of parking up to one hundred (100) barges, likely to be petroleum tank barges.
The lease stretches approximately 8,000 feet in length (roughly a mile and a half) along the shoreline. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued a ‘letter of permission’ for the project in January 2015. Construction was commenced in early spring.
15 REASONS TO OPPOSE THE LYDIA ANN CHANNEL MOORING FACILITY
- No public comment was allowed
- No scientific studies to assess potential impacts were done
- Permitting procedure conflicts with state statutes
- Located within the Redfish Bay State Scientific Area
- Located within an area with swift tidal currents – difficult to contain a spill
- Increases risk of catastrophic spill incident impacting area marshes and flats
- Displacement of public use from historical recreation area
- Long distance to Port of Corpus Christi – 23 miles
- Disruption of natural hydrology impacting migration of fish and crustacean larvae
- Barges must cross routes of fast moving tankers and the Port Aransas ferry
- Will entail the creation of security zone in a highly used recreational area
- Fleet design brings tug wheel wash impacts closer to San Jose Island shoreline and seagrass beds
- Industrial uses conflict with the recreational tourism based economy of local communities
- Sets precedent for more industrial developments in the area
- Whooping Crane habitat – cranes were recently seen within 150 yards of fleet facility