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City Stormwater Drainage
Rockport Harbor

Purpose of the ACND

The Aransas County Navigation District (ACND), a political subdivision of the State of Texas, exists to conserve and develop natural resources. This mission includes the navigation of inland and coastal waterways, and the surface and submerged land deeded to ACND by letters of patent and acts of the Texas Legislature, and all other land and water resources acquired for the benefit of the citizens of Aransas County.

City Proposed Plan

Without any consultation with the ACND, in 2021 the City of Rockport initiated its drainage improvements along Concho Street near downtown Rockport. This project involved installing a new 6-foot by 3-foot (6’x3’) box culvert extending from Business 35, through the ACND Veterans Memorial Park, into Rockport Harbor. While most of the construction has been completed, the final outfall into Rockport Harbor remains unconnected and unpermitted. This new box culvert is being designed to connect to an existing 42-inch reinforced concrete pipe east of Austin Street, which will discharge into Rockport Harbor.

The City of Rockport’s proposal of the additional stormwater pipe system is to be directed into Rockport Harbor without publicly-presented, scientifically-based environmental or hydrological engineering studies. The plan would re-channel stormwater runoff from over 185 acres, introducing silt, chemicals, debris, and other contaminants at an accelerated rate into the small Rockport Harbor. Furthermore, the proposal includes the condemnation of a section of Veterans Memorial Park.

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The ACND recognizes the City’s responsibility to manage stormwater runoff to alleviate flooding. However, the ACND has significant concerns about the additional stormwater runoff system that was planned without considering alternatives and mitigation procedures for the harbor, including a complete reassessment of the ‘need’ for this additional outflow system. It poses serious environmental and economic risks without thorough consideration of the outflow’s functionality and effectiveness. The increased speed of outflow will create circumstances that will accelerate silting in the harbor, causing expensive damage to the harbor, its special ecosystem, and condemnation to the section of land of Veterans Memorial Park.

The lack of scientific reports, appropriate research, and preparation by the City has forced the ACND to undertake independent environmental and engineering studies through third-party experts. These studies are evaluating the potential impacts of the increased discharge from the proposed 6’x3’ box culvert on Rockport Harbor and our community.

Protecting Rockport Harbor not only safeguards local wildlife and marine habitats, but also supports the economic well-being of our community by maintaining thriving tourism, fishing, birding, and other industries that depend on our clean and healthy waterfronts.

The ACND will keep the community informed about the independent engineering and environmental findings as they become available, and will provide updates on the overall situation as it progresses. The ACND intends to hold a community event to explain the environmental dangers and economic impacts of this additional stormwater pipe into the small harbor. Check back frequently for details on the upcoming community event.  

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