Bush announces picks for representatives on advisory group

AUSITN — Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush has announced his picks for Valley representatives on his Coastal Resiliency Advisory Group.

Named were County Commissioner David Garza, Realtor John Wood and Port Mansfield Navigation District Director Ron Mills.

They are among the 15 members appointed to the regional advisory group of representatives from local government, business and industry, each serving two-year terms.

“This coalition of regional leaders is an important element of my plan to make coastal protection a priority both during the upcoming legislative session and for the long-term,” Bush said.

The first meeting is scheduled for mid August in Corpus Christi to provide a general overview of coastal protection.

Wood said there are several issues the group is going to look into, but he is interested in talking about the issues of insurance along the coastline for home owners and businesses.

“We can get insurance but it costs a lot more to have wind storm coverage,” Wood said. “I think it’s one of those things that needs to be brought to the forefront.”

Wood said jobs, development and tourism development is going to be important for to continue to be a vibrant part of the state.

“Hopefully, there will be a lot of opportunity for us to have our input as to what along the coast is important to the state,” Wood said.

Meetings of the Coastal Resiliency Advisory Group will be held quarterly at a location in a different coastal region on a rotating basis.

Moving forward, the group will review and evaluate the effect of state policies and programs and make recommendations to the commissioner on matters relating to coastal resiliency and recovery.

The group will also recommend policies to the commissioner for the use, allocation, or distribution of funds that include identification of statewide priorities and issues relating to applications for financial assistance.

Of the three members from each region, one is an elected or government official from a county or municipality.

The second is a representative from a coastal conservation or regional planning organization.

The third is a representative from a regional port or member of the coastal business community. The Regional Councils of Government made one recommendation for each of the three representatives for their respective regions as well as the conduct of the application process.

“Texas’ beaches, marshes and islands are a symbol of Texas’ rich heritage and ensuring that we build, maintain and protect our coast is one of my top priorities,” Bush said. “With input from those who live and work in Texas’ coastal community, we will be better equipped to make decisions regarding both economic activity and wildlife preservation.”

Group Members

Three members were selected from each of the five coastal regions of the Regional Councils of Government (COGs). These regions include the following counties:

  • Region 15: Hardin, Jefferson and Orange
  • Region 16: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, Wharton
  • Region 17: Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Lavaca, Victoria
  • Region 20: Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleburg, Live Oak, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio
  • Region 21: Cameron, Hidalgo, Willacy

Valley residents tapped for coastal advisory group