Galveston Beach Cleaning Lawsuit Dismissed

Galveston Beach Cleaning Lawsuit Dismissed

For Immediate Release, April 13, 2021

Contact: Joanie Steinhaus, joanie@seaturtles.org, 512-417-7741

Galveston Beach Cleaning Lawsuit Dismissed

GALVESTON, Texas — The Texas Court of Appeals determined there was no merit to claims made by a beach-cleaning company in Galveston that Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN) defamed the company when it reported violations to their beach cleaning permit. 

TIRN’s Gulf Program Director Joanie Steinhaus expressed concerns during a public meeting that Beachside Environmental, LLC was endangering nesting sea turtles, hatchlings and shore birds during seaweed removal and relocation activities to the Galveston Park Board. Beachside was operating under the Park Board’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit that allows the Park Board to conduct beach maintenance activities including using mechanical equipment for the relocation of Sargassum or seaweed.

Beachside Environmental, LLC was ordered to pay attorney’s fees, but the owner sold the company’s equipment and left the country.

“Turtle Island Restoration Network will continue to monitor all beach cleaning, re-nourishment and dune restoration work on the Texas coast to ensure it has minimum impact on our coastal wildlife and beach habitat,” said Joanie Steinhaus, Gulf Program Director for TIRN.

When the Park Board determines the need to relocate seaweed is present they must implement conservation measures including all personnel involved in beach maintenance activities to receive training each year on how to recognize and avoid impacts to sea turtles and shorebirds.

Seaweed typically washes up on Galveston’s beaches May through July. Seaweed has many environmental benefits, including helping to retain sand on Galveston’s beaches and providing an environment for natural dune formations.

Turtle Island Restoration Network is a global nonprofit whose mission is to inspire and mobilize people around the world to protect marine biodiversity and the oceans that sustain all life on Earth.

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