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Media Contact: Aaron Reed, 512-389-8046 [AR]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Oct. 12, 2006

Public Hearings Set for Offshore Aquaculture and Private Artificial Reef Regs

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will host public meetings in Dickinson and Corpus Christi Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss proposed changes to regulations affecting offshore aquaculture and the deployment of artificial reef materials by private individuals, groups or associations.

Interested individuals are invited to comment on the proposed changes at the meetings, or to comment on-line through the department’s Web site.

The new rules concerning offshore aquaculture would repeal §§ 57.251-57.257 and introduce new §§ 57.251-57.259 of the Parks and Wildlife Code, concerning the introduction of fish, shellfish and aquatic plants. The changes would implement safeguards against the introduction of invasive species into Texas’ coastal waters and would work to minimize impacts on native and wild stocks in the state.

The new rules would establish a $1,500 licensing fee for each offshore aquaculture permit.

The new rules concerning artificial reefs would create new §§ 59.950-57.955 of the TPW Code, establishing a mechanism to govern the deployment of artificial reef materials in coastal waters by private individuals or entities. The proposed changes give TPWD the authority to inspect, approve and mark artificial reef materials.

An explanation of the new rules and public comment is slated for:

To read the complete proposals and register comments online, please visit the TPWD Web site.

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