A storm that brewed in Galveston Bay for the past four-years over the ownership of Texas oyster production rights has finally subsided. A Texas Supreme Court ruling and new legislation has effectively shuddered the Chamber-Liberty Counties Navigation District (CLCND) claim to lease submerged bottomland to Sustainable Texas Oyster Resource Management (STORM) for the purpose of growing oysters.
In an article first reported by Gulf Seafood News in 2015; members of the CLCND approved a 30-year lease to STORM, founded by Tracy Woody, manager of Galveston’s Jeri’s Oyster Company, covering more than 23,000 acres. The controversial lease included both public and private oyster leases already issued by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to other harvesters.
STORM was awarded the lease after approaching the district with an offer to pay up to $69,000 a year for the exclusive rights to plant and harvest oysters on submerged land that stretches to Smith Point and extending west to San Leon in Galveston County.
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