Coastal Zone Management
The Park Board’s Coastal Zone Management operations include providing day-to-day, short-term and long-term maintenance of Galveston’s public beaches. The department operates a variety of programs, including litter control, seaweed relocation, beach recycling and more. For detailed information on Coastal Zone Management services, please refer to the documents below:
Beach Maintenance Policy
Dune Maintenance Manual
Permit SWG-2014-00448 - USACE
What is Coastal Zone Management doing to manage seaweed?
Galveston Park Board is the only entity on the island with the granted authority to clean seaweed off the beaches in federal jurisdiction. Sargassum seaweed can be a controversial subject among various stakeholders. Naturalists, marine biologists and oceanographers regard it as a vital component of the ecosystem, whereas local beachgoers and tourists find it unappealing and stinky. The State of Texas regards it as an important natural resource and restricts its complete removal due to the ecosystem services which it provides. However, under issued permits, the seaweed can be removed and relocated to the toe of the dunes.
In order to empower local entities to partake in its removal, the Park Board’s Coastal Zone Management Department has two permitting programs. The first is the Extreme Inundation Program, and the second is the HOA/POA Self-Provider Seaweed Relocation Program. The overarching goal of the Extreme Inundation Program is to enhance preparedness to be able to respond to an extreme seaweed event which could have lasting impacts on the Island’s tourism industry, such as the Summer of Seaweed 2014. The overarching goal of the HOA/POA self-provider seaweed relocation program is to empower local homeowner associations to partake in beach maintenance activities related to seaweed landings which fall above a 10% threshold, but are less than an extreme inundation, by issuing a permit which allows for 3rd party seaweed related beach maintenance activities.
The permitting processes associated with seaweed cleanup is extensive, and there are risks of fines if the permits are violated.