IN DEFENSE OF BOCA CHICA
Editor's Note: The BV would oppose any utility development of the area. The problem is a viable solution. You cannot preserve Boca Chica if people are not educated about its beauty and unique plants, animal life etc. Once you educate them, they will want to preserve it, but also go to the beach. This will cause some additional damage. While it is illegal to ride in the dunes it is done all of the time because there is no one from the county enforcing the law.
I am not sure I have a problem with an entrance fee to Boca Chica. By having a county employee charging a fee it will also allow the county to better bar any sports vehicles from the beach. I also have no problem with the county charging a garbage bag fee the visitor gets back when they bring back the garbage bag filled with their trash.
All of the above are proactive things the county can do to preserve this treasure. Far too many of the people who use Boca Chica have proven themselves to be bad stewards of Boca Chica. I am so tired of seeing how people disrespect this treasure - so in my mind a fee which has the effect of protecting Boca Chica would be a good thing.
I hope more people will come forward and defend Boca Chica. Different people might disagree about the mechanics of defending Boca Chica, but what is important is that we stand together to prevent any development, beyond that which is needed to protect this natural treasure the beach.
HERE IS MESCALERO'S DEFENSE OF BOCA CHICA
Exactly as I feared. Already hopes that if utilities are extended to Boca Chica we can get some of those "projects" developed. Let's put up some historical centers and a visitor's center. We will then need bathrooms and maybe a snack bar and on and on it will go. And, to pay for the centers and upkeep and to repair all the vandalism, we will need a beach access fee. It might not be Padre Island but it won't be Boca Chica.
And the same goes for Palmetto Hill. Check out how degraded the habitats are out there and yet they hold so much life. Any construction will probably be on the higher elevations known as lomitas (little hills) to avoid flooding. These lomitas are a biologically unique area in the world. Not another inch should be cleared. And the same for the coastal prairie out there. In the alternative I would suggest an information center somewhere in the vicinity of the border patrol checkpoint with monuments at the actual sites. By keeping any buildings in one spot it minimizes the impact on the environment and probably reduces construction costs. Being near the checkpoint may redue vandalism.
Also, it is a false statement to say that Boca Chica will never become Padre Island. I've lived here long enough to have hung out on the Island when there were only three free standing restaurants and only a small handful of hotel/motels and look at it now.