Shoreline Task Force discusses lack of public bay access

Special to the PRESS

The Shoreline Task Force met Monday afternoon for their regular meeting. The main item up for discussion was how to address the lack of public bay access on the Island.

Chairman Paul Munarriz brought up the issue regarding the public’s ability to access the Laguna Madre Bay and the infrastructure needs necessary to increase such access. Munarriz noted a 2013 discussion relating to the possible sale of three streets to private owners to provide the City with income to use towards improving public bay access options on Island. The streets in question are Aries Street — which could be purchased by Origins, Kingfish Street to Sandcastle Condominiums and Red Snapper Street to La Solana Condominiums. The City is currently responsible for the streets that  are primarily used by only one property owner. These could essentially be gated areas within the City with the owners taking over that responsibility.

The two major issues the City is facing is the lack of adequate boat ramps in addition to the lack of adequate parking for trucks and trailers. Currently, the City has one useable public ramp at Polaris Street which recently underwent improvements. Another ramp located at Palm Street Pier is shallow and only useable for kayaks and other small craft. With fishing tournaments both small and large scheduled almost every Saturday during the summer, the problem becomes even more evident. The recent Shallow Sport tournament brought in over 1,000 anglers and 218 boats with participants and supporters spending money shopping, dining and staying in hotels.

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