SEPTEMBER NEWS 2000 5-00-1.jpg (31968 bytes)
         redhot.gif (1175 bytes)KEMPS RIDLEY TURTLE UPDATE by Mina Williams &Venice Scheurich
                September News!

         redhot.gif (1175 bytes)The Corpus Christi Experiment VX Nerve Agent Disposal by Bill Alling
 Should This City Be the Waste Dump
              for Chemical Weapons Residue??
                Bill Alling's Letter to The Caller-Times
       redhot.gif (1175 bytes) Coastal Development by Pat Suter - see below

brwnrotatbut.gif (7314 bytes) Email Paul Hammerschmidt to facilitate proposed Southern Closure Regulat   
         brwnrotatbut.gif (7314 bytes)    Governor George Bush: His Environmental Legacy by Pat Suter
brwnrotatbut.gif (7314 bytes)    EARTH DAY 2000 by Pat Suter
      redhot.gif (1175 bytes)Packery Channel News:    the Corps of Engineers had a big scoping
meeting  Sept. 7, and residents gave them an earful...also the Corpus Christi city council
who were there.  We do not know the fallout yet, but  one city council
person spoke this morning and he was having second thoughts.  
Pat Suter believes  the city thinks it will help economic
development in the city.  She first heard that argument back in 1968 with the
promise that 50,000 people would live there within ten years so increase the
tax base.  Today just 7,000 or so people live there and most of them do not
want the channel built. In the Sunday, Sept. 10 Caller-Times, the mayor accused the
"aginers" of being against growth and said that they will banrupt the city.    He could
succeed in bringing down the vote on new bonds scheduled for November 7, according
to Pat.




                                        COASTAL BEND GROUP
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         * Pat Suter                   852-7938              Chairman

         * Randy Berryhill        883-0586        Vice Chairman

         * Judy Tor                  241-2605                Treasurer

         * Dorothy McLaren   883-0435                 Secretary

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Next Meeting: Tuesday September 19, 2000

The next meeting  is still scheduled for September 19 and will be held at the
Art Community Center as usual.

Proposed topic is Commercial Logging on our Public Lands
Art Community Center, 100 Shoreline
Lunch, 11:15 a.m., Business meeting, 12:15 p.m.

(You may bring your lunch to the business meeting if your
time is limited.)


In late July I was able to participate in a LEWIS AND CLARK expedition which was charged with determining what, if anything, was still left of the plants and wildlife which these two explorers mentioned in their journals. WE were just ahead of the major fires in Montana and were headquartered in Hamilton, Montana. I really suffer for those people there when the TV and newspaper detail the terrible destruction that was taking place in the Bitterroot Mountains where we were.

During the time we were working the campsites in Montana USA TODAY published a long article on the rush to the coasts along the Atlantic and Gulf shores. In this article some 100 counties were studied and analyzed with regard to the increase in population and other factors which contributed to the movement of people from big cities to the coasts. Their data sources included population estimates, census reports, detailed demographic data, county-to-county migration data, Presidential disaster declarations, hurricane information, sea level data, employment data, gross domestic product data, and building permit data.

What all this study led to was to show that for most of the 100 counties which border the Gulf and Atlantic waters are growing by leaps and bounds. A few are not. Perhaps we might wonder just what determines whether or not a given county grows in this fashion. The study concentrated on counties that have barrier islands in their study. They did not include the Pacific Ocean coast because there are no barrier islands along that area.

The counties in Texas that have grown are Aransas County, Brazoria County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Jackson County, Orange County, San Patricio County, and Victoria County. Notably absent were the four southern counties of the coastal bend…Nueces, Kleberg, Kennedy, Cameron.

The article goes on to analyze the many problems that are effecting the coastal counties that are having the greatest growth. These are the very same problems that have encouraged people to leave the cities and head for the coast as well as some special ones. As, more andmore people move to the coast, they cause the very same conditions to develop in the new location. Traffic congestion, crime, and the things which too many people in a given space lead to become the way of life in the new place. The article highlights Cape Cod as an example. One used to be able to get away from it all by going to the beach. And then in the winter most summer residents went back home and left the locals to enjoy their solitude. No more. Now it is "stand in line time" for most things one might want to do.

The article also contrasted two barrier islands and their response to hurricane possibilities. One island is in North Carolina and the other in Florida along the west coast. The first one fought for and got permission to build closer and closer to the water line and hence the danger zone. The other looked at the possibilities and opted to have a more realistic development criteria. In both cases evacuation at the last minute will not be possible. So we will just have to see what happens in the future storms. Federal insurance will be put to the test. The rush to the coastal communities has cost them the characteristics that attracted tourists to the location in the first place. Wildlife has also suffered tremendously, especially those birds that nest on the shoreline.

Now we might consider the difference between Nueces County and San Patricio County. Why is the latter growing? It seems to me that at least part of the reason is the more congenial communities in San Patricio County. Portland has been and still is a bedroom community for the larger Corpus Christi. Their population is more uniform and the congestion and gang problem much less. So are the taxes. They also have the influx of navy personnel.

The housing industry has been the chief beneficiary of the coastal craze. The median household wealth of those living in counties that abut the coastal counties is 26 % higher than the national median. That means more money to buy houses. Developers along the coast who have been in business for more than 30 years say these are the best economic times they have ever seen. The fastest growth has been on barrier islands with high-end homes in most demand. But what is happening is to change the barrier islands to become just another congested living space. What has been lost is the natural environment. Seawalls have changed the coastline and caused massive erosion all along the coasts. It seems that just wishing that erosion go away is not working and more and more funds are being expended in the loosing battle with rising sea water. The shore ends up looking like anywhere else. Property values rise until the common complaint is "what good is prosperity if our kids can't afford to stay here?

Another problem is water pollution. Septic tank runoff is the source in many areas. But the higher levels of contaminated water has also bee blamed on runoff from roads and parking lots. Barrier islands are becoming just more suburbia.





        Senator Carlos Truan                Commissioner David Dewhurst
        P.O. Box 12068                          GLO
        Austin, TX 78711                        Austin, Texas 78701

         Commissioner (Chairman)        President Bill Clinton
          TNRCC                                      The White House
          P.O. Box 13087                        Washington, DC
          Austin, TX 78711