ROCKPORT PILOT

Bayou permit finally received

Aug 5, 2011 | Rockport Pilot by NORMA MARTINEZ | Related Press

After more than a decade of efforts by private individuals and in the last two years by the Aransas County commissioners court, the long-awaited permit for the dredging of Cedar Bayou was received and signed by County Judge C.H. “Burt” Mills, Wednesday, Aug. 3.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality signed off on the permit and the 15-day period allotted to challenge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) final decision ended with no comments/dispute. The permit was then signed by the COE and sent to the county.

With permit finally in hand, Mills said, “I couldn’t feel better for Aransas County and all the people who come to enjoy our bays, and fishing industry. “We will all see a terrific improvement once we get {Cedar Bayou} open.”

The judge also said, “I can’t thank the people enough who helped me in the last 23 months.”

Mills said the county has already submitted a letter of intent for Coastal Erosion Planning and Response Act (CEPRA) funds. They are also in the midst of applying for British Petroleum (BP) funds, explaining this project falls within the guidelines on what those monies can be expended.

The judge said the project can not be started until April of 2012, thus they have time to get all the funding together.

On Thursday, Aug. 4, three Coastal Conservation Assocation-Texas (CCA-T) officials visited the judge to offer help with fundraising and volunteer efforts to see the Cedar Bayou dredging to completion. Those officials are Mark Ray, chairman of the board; John Blaha, assistant director; and Robby Byers, executive director.

Mills said anyone wishing to donate personally to the Cedar Bayou project may do so by submitting a check to Aransas County, with Cedar Bayou project written in the memo. The county has already set a separate line item in the budget for such donations.

He said that line item will remain in the budget because there will be a need for future maintenance of the Bayou once it is dredged.

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