Sunday, July 21, 2024


The legal battle over the huge oyster beds in Galveston Bay escalated again this morning. Galveston County Judge Lonnie Cox approved a temporary restraining order to protect companies with oyster leases now trapped in a fight that could affect public health.

The ruling will stop a Chambers County company called S.T.O.R.M (Sustainable Texas Oyster Resource Management, LLC) from touching the oysters in these state approved lease areas. It is the latest salvo in a legal battle that now involves Judges in Galveston, Chambers and Travis Counties.

“These oyster families have invested years of blood, sweat, tears and a lot of money to cultivate these oyster reefs,” says Attorney Dave Feldman. “We will fight to stop this takeover because it will endanger the public health. Galveston Bay belongs to the people of Texas.”

In April of last year, STORM got a 23,000 acre sweetheart deal from the Chambers-Liberty County Navigation District and says it now controls half the oyster population in Galveston Bay, including public and private reefs approved by the State. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has sued CLCND and STORM on behalf of the People of Texas, claiming the lease is illegal, warning STORM they will pay for any damages to the oysters.

Last week, Chambers County Judge Randy McDonald helped the politically powerful STORM owners, by stopping the state from allowing oyster companies to transfer oysters to safer waters, jeopardizing the safety of the oysters and risking public health. 

Oyster companies then went to Galveston County for help.

The next hearing is Thursday morning (Oct. 8, 2015) in Chambers County, where the state will fight to save the oyster population.

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