The Gulf of Mexico contains around half of the nation's coastal marshes, both saltwater and fresh. They encircle bays, bayous, and islands and represent some of the most productive marine environments in the world.
Regulation of the filling of wetlands along the Texas coast is left to the Corps of Engineers because the State of Texas does not have an independent wetland protection statute. The Corps has responsibility for permitting under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act; it can issue no Section 404 permit without consideration of mitigation. The damage that the loss of thosands of acres of wetland--which Deeport 2 would entail--and the possibility of an inshore oil spill whether through negligence or hurricanes is not one we should tolerate.
Oil spilled on beaches can be cleaned up, but oil spilled in an estuary would spell the end of marine life there. These are potential ecological disasters for which there is no adequate mitigation. That's why the Port Aransas Conservancy strongly opposes the Port of Corpus Christi's plans for a VLCC terminal on Harbor Island and deep channel dredging as far as La Quinta Junction. We propose instead an offshore monobuoy or terminal for loading these behemoths with minimal environmental downside.
It falls upon the people living on the coast to set the standard for stewardship of the sensitive marine environment and to insist that this standard be followed. That is exactly what we intend to do.