The legislature finds and declares:
          (1) that the mainland gulf shoreline, barrier islands, and peninsulas of this state contain a significant portion of the state's human, natural, and recreational resources;
          (2) that these areas are and historically have been wholly or in part protected from the action of the water of the Gulf of Mexico and storms on the Gulf by a system of vegetated and unvegetated sand dunes that provide a protective barrier for adjacent land and inland water and land against the action of sand, wind, and water;
          (3) that certain persons have from time to time modified or destroyed the effectiveness of the protective barriers and caused environmental damage in the process of developing the shoreline for various purposes;
          (4) that the operation of recreational vehicles and other activities over these dunes have destroyed the natural vegetation on them;
          (5) that these practices constitute serious threats to the safety of adjacent properties, to public highways, to the taxable basis of adjacent property and constitute a real danger to natural resources and to the health, safety, and welfare of persons living, visiting, or sojourning in the area;
          (6) that it is necessary to protect these dunes as provided in this chapter because stabilized, vegetated dunes offer the best natural defense against storms and are areas of significant biological diversity;
          (7) that vegetated stabilized dunes help preserve state-owned beaches and shores by protecting against erosion of the shoreline; and
          (8) that different areas of the coast are characterized by dunes of various types and values, all of which should be afforded protection.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2499, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 814, § 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1985; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 295, § 18, eff. June 7, 1991.

§ 63.002. DEFINITIONS.
     In this chapter:
          (1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the General Land Office.
          (2) "Barrier island" means an island bordering on the Gulf of Mexico and entirely surrounded by water.
          (3) "Peninsula" means an arm of land bordering on the Gulf of Mexico surrounded on three sides by water.
          (4) "Recreational vehicle" means a dune buggy, marsh buggy, minibike, trail bike, jeep, or any other mechanized vehicle that is being used for recreational purposes, but does not include any vehicle not being used for recreational purposes.
          (5) "Mainland shoreline" means all shoreline fronting on the open Gulf of Mexico that is not located on a barrier island or a peninsula.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2500, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 814, § 2, eff. Aug. 26, 1985.

     The provisions of this chapter do not apply to any dune area not accessible by public road or common carrier ferry facility for as long as that condition exists.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2500, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 814, § 3, eff. Aug. 26, 1985.