Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references.
June 24, 2013
New Texas Laws Protect Seagrass, Control Aquatic Invasives
AUSTIN – Two of the dozens of bills that came out of the 83rd Texas Legislature affect boaters, anglers and other Texas Parks and Wildlife Department stakeholders.
One measure is a new law that will expand seagrass protection coast-wide. The other authorizes rules requiring boaters to drain and dry their vessels to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species like zebra mussels.
House Bill 3279 establishes a statewide law that makes it illegal to uproot seagrass in all coastal waters. This is similar to an existing TPWD regulation in the Redfish Bay State Scientific Area near Rockport, where it is Class C misdemeanor to uproot seagrass with a motorboat outboard propeller. In connection with the bill, TPWD plans to enhance its ongoing coast wide seagrass educational campaign to inform boaters. The bill takes effect Sept. 1.
House Bill 1241 enhances TPWD’s ability to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species, especially zebra mussels in fresh water.
Specifically, the bill gives the TPW Commission authority to enact rules to directly require boat operators leaving public lakes or other public waters to drain water from their vessels. This is intended to prevent the unintentional transportation of invasives to other fresh water bodies. It does not apply to salt water.
The new rules could be strategically applied to infested waters and nearby waters with a high risk of infestation. Enactment of new rules authorized by this law requires commission approval, which will occur later this year and will include opportunity for public comment.
Publication — Permission is granted to publish, in whole or in part, any news releases on this page.
Print — A print-friendly version of the news release shows only the release with font sizes set to the browser default.
Plain Text — Plain text versions of TPWD news releases are provided for copying and pasting into editing software.
To copy text into an editing software:
- Click a Plain Text link to display the plain text page in your browser.
- Select all.
- Paste in a document in your editing program.
Permalink — This is a direct link to the news release, omitting the navigation context from the URI.
English/Spanish — News releases posted in both English and Spanish have one of these links.
If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and mention Plain Text Pages.