Reduced beach access is part of the battle between the South Texas community and SpaceX

From Texas Standard:

Boca Chica Beach, at the southern end of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, is next to the launch site for SpaceX, the private space exploration company of Tesla founder Elon Musk. SpaceX intends to send its shuttle to Mars one day. In the meantime, he has challenges closer to home.

One of those challenges comes from the residents of Brownsville who say SpaceX not only pollutes the area with the numerous explosions during rocket tests, but also limits people’s access to the local public beaches that many of them use. for fishing and recreation.

Gus Bova explored the clash between SpaceX and the people of Brownsville in its latest story for the Texas Observer, “The last frontier. In it, Bova explains how residents have had significantly reduced access over the past year due to SpaceX activities that have closed the road to the shore, often on short notice.

“Boca Chica Beach is really a beach for primarily Brownsville residents,” Bova told Texas Standard. “It’s traditionally, for decades, open 24/7, free of charge. People can come and fish if they want, they can come and camp for days if they want.

Boca Chica is definitely a place for locals. It does not have the same tourist appeal as the neighboring island of South Padre, for example.

“It was that type of beach where local families who didn’t want all the hustle and bustle of the island, who didn’t want to pay entry to the island park who didn’t want all the condos, etc. – it was a real beach for the locals and the community, ”said Bova.

Now, he says it’s still a destination for locals, but not as often as it used to be due to SpaceX-related road closures.

Hear more about Boca Chica Beach and SpaceX in an interview featured in the audio player above.

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