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Access Codes

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General Recommendations:

Access methods for development may result in loss of wetland habitat and can significantly alter coastal processes such as salinity and hydrology, which can modify the distribution and abundance of living marine resources. The placement of fill material should avoid covering sensitive areas and altering hydrology. Fill materials such as sand, gravel, rock, or similar materials for roadway construction may not be placed below mean high water or in state-owned wetlands.

Lessees must, to the greatest extent possible, use existing channels, canals, and other deep-water areas to avoid impacts to sensitive areas, and minimize initial and maintenance dredging requirements. Where construction of a new channel is unavoidable, siting to avoid impacts to sensitive areas such as bird rookeries, oyster reefs, and areas of submerged aquatic vegetation is important. In addition, canals and channels should not cut through barrier beaches, barrier islands, or other Gulf shoreline protection features.

All activities should be coordinated with the commenting agencies and should use Best Management Practices to avoid unnecessary impacts to sensitive areas. The following mitigation sequence may be applied during the evaluation of potential adverse impacts of a project: (1) avoidance of adverse impacts; (2) minimization of adverse impacts; and (3) compensation for unavoidable adverse impacts.

For information on Best Management Practices and guidelines to reduce the overall impact to the environments and facilitate permitting, please visit:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District construction guidelines:

Definitions and Explanations

  • CA - Use existing channels.
    New dredging may not be authorized on this tract; however, maintenance dredging of existing and previously dredged channels may be authorized if sensitive areas are not impacted.

  • CC – The dredging of one channel may be authorized for development of this tract.
    If no channel is present on the tract, the dredging of a single channel may be authorized to provide access if impacts to submerged aquatic vegetation and other sensitive areas are avoided.

  • CF- Limit vehicular access for development activities.
    Vehicular access methods and staging areas should be designed to avoid impacts to sensitive areas.

Links to Additional Resources


George Martin
George Martin