INGLESIDE ON THE BAY, TEXAS — MODA Midstream’s facility at Ingleside on the Bay is less than a mile from several homes, and a proposed improvement to that facility would move traffic about 1,000 feet closer to those homes.
“Every time a boat comes up here to dock, the tugboats’ prop wash comes across our sea grass, and it’s degrading our sea grass,” said Patrick Nye, who lives about 3,700 feet away from MODA’s current dock.
According to NYE, there are five species of sea grass in the waters off Ingleside on the Bay, which serve as habitat for several species of marine life while also producing more oxygen than land-based grass. Nye says
“If you look through time on Google Maps, you can see how thick and lush they were,” said Nye. “Now, they’re getting wiped out, basically.”
Images of the area from 2011 and 2020 show a distinct reduction in the amount of sea grasses.
In a statement, MODA didn’t mention sea grass specifically, but did say that the company employs teams of professionals in all areas, including air and water quality in their permitting process.
The Moda Ingleside Energy Center (MIEC) stores and handles bulk liquids. All MIEC operational and safety practices meet or exceed local, state and federal regulatory requirements. Likewise, when submitting permit applications, Moda Midstream works with numerous technical experts to address all relevant permitting requirements.
There are several state and federal agencies involved in the process that employ teams of professionals in all areas including, but not limited to, air and water quality to ensure the project is safe for neighboring communities and the environment. Their diligence ensures a thorough and professional process.
MODA also plans on moving 10 acres of sea grass it dredges as part of the project to the waters off nearby Portland. However, Nye says the affected area is more than double that, roughly 26 acres and moving the grass doesn’t help marine life near Ingleside on the Bay.
“Why would they put it over there instead of actually benefitting the community they’re taking it away from?” Nye asked.
The public comment period on the permit had passed, but MODA recently applied for an amended permit, restarting the comment period.
“We’re hopeful that we can stop the permit until we can get more of an understanding of what the entire cause and effects are going to be for our community,” said Nye.
As concerned as residents there are about the MODA Midstream facility, they’re just as concerned about the proposed desalination plants for the La Quinta Corridor. They believe brine discharges from those plants will end up in those same waters.