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Rep. Terri Leo Wilson Urges State DisasterDeclaration for Galveston and Chambers Counties

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Terri Leo-Wilson, State Representative, District 23

(Galveston, TX) – In light of recent severe weather events that have inflicted significant economic and environmental damage on Galveston and Chambers counties, State Representative Terri Leo Wilson has called on Governor Greg Abbott and Chief Nim Kidd of the Texas Division of Emergency Management to declare a state of disaster for these affected areas.

Rep. Leo Wilson expressed deep concern over the persistent heavy rainfall and flooding from the San Jacinto and Trinity River basins, which have drastically lowered salinity levels in Galveston Bay. This environmental change has led to severe mortality rates in molluscan shellfish populations, particularly oysters, crucial to the local seafood industry. The Texas Department of State Health Services has closed all areas of Galveston Bay to the harvesting of molluscan shellfish, resulting in an estimated revenue loss exceeding $15.4 million.     

“Galveston and Chambers counties are facing an unprecedented crisis that threatens the livelihoods of many families and businesses,” said Rep. Leo Wilson. “The extensive freshwater influx and resulting low salinity have devastated our oyster beds, with both Galveston and Chambers counties reporting close to 100 percent mortality in oyster leases. This disaster will cost millions in losses and severely impact our economy. It is imperative that we receive state support to help our communities recover.”

Both Galveston and Chambers counties have declared their areas as disaster zones due to the severe impact on the local seafood industry, agribusiness, and tourism. These local declarations highlight the urgent need for state-level intervention.

Rep. Leo Wilson has urged Governor Abbott and Chief Kidd to mobilize state resources to address and remedy the critical situation. “The impacted workers, families, and businesses are in dire need of support,” she stated. “State assistance will be crucial in helping our communities rebuild and recover from this disaster.”

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