PORT ARANSAS — Most Gulf beaches require a permit for visitors who want to park on the beach. That's thousands of visitors each year, but where does all the money from beach parking permit fees go?
Well it cost $12 to buy a permit. A very small portion of that money goes back to the vendor or business where the permit is bought from, but the rest of the money goes directly back into maintaining our beaches.
Maintenance covers things like keeping the beaches and bathrooms clean and free of trash, emptying trash cans, keeping beach roads up to par, and paying for lifeguards.
If you don't have a permit and you park on the beach, that $12 permit could turn into a $75 citation.
In fact, about four years ago, the City of Port Aransas asked their police department to step up enforcement on their beaches. The city even provided overtime for officers to patrol more. Since then, the city has seen a large increase in the number of citations.
"It's important for people that come and use the beach to understand that those beach parking permits are what the city uses to maintain the beach," said Chief of Police Scott Burroughs. "And that's why our beaches are in such good shape."
If you are issued a $75 citation by Port Aransas, you have ten days to pay it at their municipal court.
Chief Burroughs also says if you buy a beach parking permit within five days of getting issued a citation, that $75 violation will drop to $50.
By the way, beach permits purchased at Corpus Christi or county beaches like JP Luby or Bob Hall Pier, can also be used in Port Aransas. They are only good for the year they were purchased, from January to December.