SCENIC UPPER TEXAS COASTAL SWAMPS, BEACHES, PLANTATIONS A LITTLE CLOSER TO GOING NATIONAL Jefferson County’s commissioners areÂ the latest to give a formalÂ thumbs up to a proposal for theÂ Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area, which would bundle together a patchwork of parks,Â historical sites, and variously refinery adjacent nature preservesÂ from the Bolivar peninsulaÂ down to Matagorda Bay.Â The concept for a regionalÂ rec zoneÂ was developed shortly after Hurricane Ike’s big splash on the Texas coast in 2008: researchers noticed that some of those larger patches of undeveloped wetlands helped buffer storm surge damage, and started looking at whether keeping them around could beÂ profitable in other ways. NoÂ new land would be scoopedÂ up for inclusion in the 4-county zone, unless it wereÂ offeredÂ voluntarily — but the whole region would be marketed under the National Parks Service’s banner as a packageÂ to birdwatchers, beachgoers, Strand-walkers,Â and the like. The proposed area would still need some level of National Parks Service staff,Â andÂ approval from Congress — which is currently considering major cuts to the Department of the Interior’s budget. [Beaumont Enterprise; Houston Chronicle] Map of proposed Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area: LSCNRAÂ
Now that everyone’s feeling all nostalgic about Hurricane Ike, please enjoy the sweet and soothing sounds of this video, featuring newly released aerial footage taken over portions of Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula on September 20th, 2008.