GALVESTON, Texas— The Park Board of Trustees, which maintains Galveston beaches, approved an agreement Tuesday to continue providing some public services at Porretto Beach.
Privately owned between Sixth and 10th streets, Porretto Beach will be cleaned and maintained only on a dedicated public area of the property.
In the agreement, the board offered beach maintenance, life guards and trash collection but no longer will clear seaweed from the shoreline.
Owner Sonya Porretto requested the seaweed pickup to stop, Carla Cotropia, attorney for the park board, said.
Sixteen trash cans will be placed in front of the bollards, and trash pickup will be daily during the summer. A Galveston Island Beach Patrol lifeguard will be stationed at the 10th Street tower during the peak season.
The decision was unanimous.
"We are doing nothing on the private area," Cotropia said. "This is all on the dedicated public area."
The park board annually spends about $2.5 million on seaweed removal, cleaning and trash pickup on island beaches.
As part of Texas law, beaches along the state’s coast are considered public, but Porretto Beach has been privately owned since the 1950s. Currently, everything landward of some posts along the beach is considered private property and everything seaward is considered public.
Citing titles granted before Texas became a state, the Porretto family says Texas laws do not apply to the land. Litigation to determine ownership of the land is ongoing.
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