For 50 years, Texans have enjoyed what is called the Open Beaches Act which states that Texans shall have the free and unrestricted right of ingress and egress to and from the state-owned beaches of Texas.This is the beach between the mean low-water line and the Line of Vegetation.This is quite possibly the most progressive beach access policy in the entire United States.There are no privately owned beaches in Texas.
Sadly the issue of public access along the Texas coast has become more complicated in recent years as opposed to when the law was first ratified back in 1959.Due to population growth, rapid economic development, hurricanes, passive and active erosion and changes in the line of vegetation that defines the public beach easement, the Open Beaches Act is under constant assault almost without exception every two years when the State Legislature convenes and through lawsuits challenging the law.
On November 3, 2009 Texans will have an unbelievably unique opportunity to protect their public access and use of the beaches in Texas by voting on proposed constitutional amendment Number 9.It reads, “The constitutional amendment to protect the right of the public, individually and collectively, to access and use beaches bordering the seaward shore of the Gulf of Mexico.”Simply put, it will make access to and the use of Texas Beaches, a protected right under the State Constitution.Furthermore, it will take the issue of public beach access away from Legislators that may be influenced by campaign contributors, special interests or their own personal agendas and place it where it belongs, in the hands of the voters.Constitutional Amendment No. 9 would strengthen the Open Beaches Act by making it clear for time immemorial that the public has a right to use Texas beaches.
Obviously, this is very important to the common good and quality of life all Texans.From the wealthiest to the downtrodden, all will be able to enjoy a day on one of the many Texas beaches.Beach access is essential to surfers, fishermen, birders, swimmers, families, shell collectors, the odd treasure hunter and all who depend on the Texas coast to provide quality low cost recreation and entertainment for good and bad economic times.
The four Texas Chapters of the Surfrider Foundation are asking everyone out there to help and support the passage of proposition 9.Go to www.votefortexasbeaches.org and learn more, download a poster or flier and post it around your neighborhood, college campus or work.If you are not from Texas or are not a Texas Voter but have friends and family that are, let them know, ask them to vote and spread the word.You will no doubt be doing a great service to beach enthusiasts and Texas visitors for generations to come.
On November, 3, 2009 vote to keep Texas Beaches open! Vote for Proposition 9!