Coastal Program Chips in to Keep Beaches Clean

The Takeaway: Unspent travel funds from Texas’ coastal zone management program will aid with beach maintenance expenses so local governments are able to keep the public safe as beaches reopen.

In Texas, the COVID-19 pandemic led Governor Abbott to declare a state of emergency, and state and local government officials followed by activating shelter-in-place orders. Some coastal communities now struggle to fully fund beach maintenance because of revenue shortfalls from declining tourism dollars, sales tax revenue, and beach user fees. The Texas Coastal Zone Management Program is helping local governments provide beach cleaning and sanitary services to the beach-going public by releasing approximately $180,000 of unspent fiscal year 2019 travel funds to the Texas General Land Office’s Beach Maintenance Reimbursement Program.

The Beach Maintenance Reimbursement Program will divide the extra funds among 11 qualified and participating communities, based on current level of participation.

This program reimburses local communities for a portion of funds expended to clean and maintain public beaches. In a typical year, the program distributes $729,000. All participating communities must follow expenditure reporting rules outlined in Texas Natural Resources Code Chapter 61 and 31 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 25. (2020)

Partners: Texas Coastal Zone Management Program, Texas General Land Office’s Beach Maintenance Reimbursement Program