SUNSET PROFILE – COASTAL COORDINATION COUNCIL
In a series of articles I have been profiling state agencies that are currently undergoing the sunset review process administered by the Texas Sunset Commission (www.sunset.state.tx.us). In describing the “sunset process” I have pointed out that agencies both big and small undergo the same type of review and that this review helps to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of our state agencies. Another one of our state agencies currently undergoing the sunset review process is the Coastal Coordination Council (Council).
The Council was created by the Texas Legislature in 1991 to coordinate the State’s approach to managing coastal resources by developing, implementing, and administering the Texas Coastal Management Program (CMP). The Council links the efforts of seven state natural resource agencies with authority over the Texas coast by having board members from each of these agencies on the Council.
The Commissioner of the General Land Office serves as the Chair of the Council. The other members of the Council are the chair of the Parks and Wildlife Commission or a member of the commission designated by the chair; the chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality or a member of the commission designated by the chair; a member of the Railroad Commission of Texas appointed by that commission; the chair of the Texas Water Development Board or a member of the board designated by the chair; the chair of the Texas Transportation Commission or a member of the commission designated by the chair. Additionally four members of the Council are appointed by the Texas Governor and these appointees are, a local elected official who resides in the coastal area, an owner of a business located in the coastal area who also resides in the coastal area, a resident from the coastal area, and a representative of agriculture.
The CMP annually awards approximately 2.2 million in awards for competitive grants to local governments and other entities for coastal improvement projects, such as erosion control, habitat restoration and the protection of wildlife along the Texas coastline. In addition to distributing grants, the Council’s CMP also allows for the State of Texas to have direct input on federal projects which effect the Texas coast, as well as providing the state the ability to receive federal funds for our state’s coastal projects. Since 1991 the Council’s role has shifted its focus from primarily developing and implementing the CMP to providing for the administration of the program.
Public participation in both the sunset review process and in legislative hearings is encouraged. If you have any questions regarding the Coastal Coordination Council or the sunset review process, please don’t hesitate to contact either my Capitol or District office. My offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).
Just as a reminder Election Day is November 2 and I highly encourage everyone to get out and take advantage of your right to vote. For information on where to vote, you may contact the elections administrator in your county to find out the location of your polling place. On Election Day you must vote in the precinct where you are registered. For more voting information, visit www.votexas.org or call the Texas Secretary of State’s voter hotline at 1-800-252-VOTE (8683).