The Conservation & Reclamation District (CRD) along with the United States Army Corp of Engineers, has responsibility for the operation, management, and oversight of the Matagorda Ring Levee.
The CRD District has sole responsibility for the management and operation of the east and west Colorado River levees.
Dwight Vavra | Markham
Willie Younger | Bay City
Gary W. Koeppen | Matagorda
Creation of the Levee District
In May 1919, approximately 169 landowners in Matagorda County petitioned the Matagorda County Commissioners Court to form a Levee District to be known as the Matagorda County Levee Improvement District No. One. The Levee District was to cover and include approximately 91.413 acres in Matagorda County. This Levee District to be formed was for the purpose of allowing the construction of levees along the east side of the Colorado River to protect land and property which was being constantly inundated by flooding from the Colorado River. The District was to be established under the authority of Article 16, Section 59 of the Texas Constitution, generally known as the “Conservation Amendment”, which provided for the creation of conservation and reclamation districts.
On May 12, 1919, the Matagorda County Commissioners Court set a hearing for May 28, 1919, to rule on the petition to create and establish the Levee District, and on the 29th of May 1919, the Matagorda County Commissioners Court authorized the creation of the Matagorda County Levee Improvement District No. One.
The Matagorda County Levee Improvement District No. One remained operational from May 1919 until July 8, 1991 when the Commissioners from the Matagorda County Conservation and Reclamation District No. One, the Matagorda County Levee District No. One, and the Matagorda County Commissioners Court by Joint Resolution confirmed that the Matagorda County Levee Improvement District owned, maintained, and operated the Levee District’s Levees east of the Colorado River and all of the Levee District’s properties. The Joint Resolution further stated that all duties, obligations, and responsibilities of the Matagorda County Levee District No. One were transferred to the Matagorda County Conservation and Reclamation District No. One. The Joint Resolution additionally provided that the Matagorda County Levee Improvement District would cease to exist effective as of July 8, 1991. As a result of Joint Resolution, the Matagorda County Conservation and Reclamation District now owns, maintains and operates all of the Levees east of the Colorado River that were previously created and built by the Matagorda County Levee Improvement District No. One and has assumed all authority and powers that the Levee District formerly possessed and enjoyed.
Creation of the Conservation and Reclamation District
On the 17th day of November, 1923, a petition from one hundred fourteen residents, free holders of real property and taxpayers in Matagorda County was submitted to the Matagorda County Commissioners Court requesting the establishment of Matagorda County Conservation and Reclamation District No. 1. The petition sought to establish a conservation and reclamation district covering Matagorda County Commissioners Precinct Nos. 1, 2, and 4. The petition further stated that drainage was a necessity, that the district would be a public utility, and that drainage of the proposed district’s properties, and the protection that adequate drainage would provide was practicable and feasible and that a necessity existed to expedite the district for the following reasons:
“(a) The fact that logs, trees and other drift has formed in the channel of the Colorado River in said district so as to dam up and retard the flow of water; that during every rise in said River it overflows the country adjacent thereto and inundates a large territory of fertile lands on both sides of said River in said district, whereby great property damage is sustained, crops and livestock destroyed;
(b) It is a public utility because by the creation of such conservation and reclamation district an economical, practicable and feasible method of drainage will be secured, as well as the protection of crops and other properties within said district from overflows, adding much to the value of the lands and properties therein.
(c) The drainage of said district, as well as protection thereof from overflows, is feasible and practicable, for the reason that the cleaning out and deepening of the channel of said Colorado River will greatly increase its water carrying capacity, thereby giving a complete drainage system during ordinary freshets and heavy rains, and in conjunction with sufficient levees will also prevent the inundation of many acres of fertile lands during floods in said River.”
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