10:00 am October 30th
The future of Galveston Bay is on trial tomorrow in Galveston, and Judge Lonnie Cox has a chance to protect the bay for all the people of Texas.
The important 10:00 am hearing in the 56th Judicial District Court involves the efforts of oyster fisherman to seek a temporary injunction against a company called S.T.O.R.M. which claims they now control 23,000 acres of Galveston Bay Bottom, not the State of Texas.
S.T.O.R.M. is run by a local judge in Chambers County and in recent week’s hometown court rulings there killed the entire oyster transplant season in a big section of the Bay. The transplant season is used to move oysters to safer waters. Before the public season begins November 1st. S.T.O.R.M. claims oyster fisherman with legal state leases will actually be trespassing if they come to leases they paid for long ago to harvest oysters.
This battle has huge implications. First, the Parks and Wildlife Department has been in charge of the wildlife in Texas from the start, and imagine the Bays of Texas being privatized so you can’t fish there without having to ask “pretty please with money on top.”
Tomorrow oyster fisherman will ask Judge Cox to keep S.T.O.R.M. from interfering with their boats and leases, and fisherman all along the coast will be watching this decision carefully.
So will State Officials, who have called the S.T.O.R.M deal with unelected bureaucrats in Chambers County clearly illegal. S.T.O.R.M leased the property in a secret backroom deal.
“These oyster families are fighting for their livelihoods, but they are also fighting for every single Texan”, says Attorney Cris Feldman. “We are confident Judge Cox will protect Texans and the vital resources in Galveston Bay.”
The hearing is scheduled for 10:00 am at the Galveston County Courthouse.