A new group has formed to support offshore oil terminals as an alternative to building marine terminals on Harbor Island as planned by the Port of Corpus Christi. The Texas Coastal Coalition aims “to educate Texans in the coastal region and beyond about the impacts of the proposed crude oil loading terminal on Harbor Island in Port Aransas,” the coalition stated in a media release.
“TCC will bring together the voices of those who treasure the Texas Gulf Coast to advocate for a solution that works for industry, the environment, and the community,” the release continues.
The coalition pointed to a fatal dredging accident in the channel Aug. 21 as an example of the risks the community around Harbor Island faces with continued industrial development there.
“Such risks are unacceptable to the local economy and our tourism economy,” said Tracey Carroll, TCC spokesperson and Port Aransas resident.
The controversial plans to build two marine terminals and a desalination plant on Harbor Island have led to lawsuits and countersuits between the Port of Corpus Christi and the city of Port Aransas since 2018, when the port first entered into an agreement to build the terminals. Those disputes were recently settled with the port agreeing to pay $1 million over five years to the Port Aransas Fire Department. Port Aransas agreed to withdraw all comments and objections to the marine terminal project. The negotiations were held in executive sessions and non-public meetings.
“Too much of this discussion has occurred behind closed doors,” Carroll said. “Port Aransas businesses, homeowners, and visitors need a resource for factual information, a platform for education on the issue, and a forum for their voices to be heard.”
TCC joins the Port Aransas Conservancy in battling any industrial development on Harbor Island, which sits at the mouth of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.