This past New Year’s Eve, I was out patrolling the flatlands here in Aransas Pass. What many don’t know is that Aransas Pass is comprised of approximately 40 square miles of water in our City jurisdiction. That water is everything East of the Dale Miller Bridge up to the Port Aransas ferries and most of the way to Rockport and Ingleside on the Bay. I believe the following Google map image illustrates our boundaries best. Those areas outlined in red and all the water in between represent the city limits.
As you can imagine, we must maintain coverage over a lot of area. Hence the reason why we have a new Harbor Safety & Enforcement Officer, a marine patrol division, and police rescue divers. In addition, we must continue to patrol the areas accessible by vehicle as well.
In doing so, we often happen upon scenes like those below. Folks will turn out to illegally camp upon the lands, discard their trash and debris from construction sites, and engage in other types of criminality which have included things like drug use and/or prostitution. Over the years, I have encountered it all, but I am happy to report, however, that scenes like this are becoming less and less common. The heavy patrols over the years have made these areas less popular for many of the types of issues we’ve experienced, but some still find it the place to pick when choosing to illegally dump their trash.
The images you see here are from a nuisance camper who comes to us from Ingleside, Texas. He squatted the land with family and animals and then uprooted and moved to the Rockport area. However, he chose to leave behind all the trash and debris you see here. We are on his trail and have given him a timeline for cleaning up this trash. As is often the case, city staff will likely end up cleaning up this location to restore it as closely as we can to its normal luster. Additionally, criminal charges are likely to follow soon.
Yesterday, while out inspecting the clean up progress of the location above, I drove up on this event in progress. As you can see below, Brice McCaleb, a 46 YOA resident of Rockport, was actively engaged in dumping construction debris onto this nice piece of land. McCaleb was made to clean up his trash before being placed under arrest for illegal dumping.
My staff and I will continue to keep a close watch over our precious flatlands. We want to keep the areas clean and attractive for our residents and tourists. The locations must be free from this type of soiled trash and debris, and we will continue to aggressively pursue those miscreants that choose to trash our town.
– Chief Eric Blanchard.