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"GALVESTON — Oyster boat captains last year thought they were suffering through one of the worst years in decades for the Texas oyster industry as freshwater from heavy rains flooded Galveston Bay and killed oysters. The Galveston County disaster declaration is the first step in getting federal relief funds for the multimillion dollar industry. If federal aid comes, it will take $20 million to $30 million to restore damaged oyster reefs, estimated Clifford Hillman, president of Hillman Shrimp and Oyster Co. with boats in Dickinson and Port Lavaca in Matagorda County. The state fisheries division estimated the wholesale value of oysters sold to processors like Prestige at $15.83 million this season, but Hillman said such estimates leave out businesses that depend on the oyster industry, such as marine repair, equipment suppliers and grocers. Oysters normally need a salt concentration of between 10 and 15 parts per million to thrive, but testing from some oyster beds is showing", www.expressnews.com
"About 500 homes qualified for grant money to be removed under a community development program and a majority of the property owners have removed the hazardous structures. County spokeswoman Brittany Rainville tells The Galveston County Daily News (http://bit.ly/1TZFUCS ) that of the remaining some 200 buildings, 34 have been taken down and Galveston County commissioners have now approved razing another 15.", www.seattlepi.com
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