Article I, Section 33 of the Texas Constitution ("Public Access to and Use of Public Beaches")
Added November 3, 2009:
(a) In this section, "public beach" means a State-owned beach bordering on the seaward shore of the Gulf of Mexico, extending from mean low tide to the landward boundary of State-owned submerged land, and any larger area extending from the line of mean low tide to the line of vegetation bordering on the Gulf of Mexico to which the public has acquired a right of use or easement to or over the area by prescription or dedication or has established and retained a right by virtue of continuous right in the public under Texas common law.
(b) The public, individually and collectively, has an unrestricted right to use and a right of ingress to and egress from a public beach. The right granted by this subsection is dedicated as a permanent easement in favor of the public.
(c) The Legislature may enact laws to protect the right of the public to access and use a public beach and to protect the public beach easement from interference and encroachments.
(d) This section does not create a private right of enforcement.
According to available legislative history, the purpose of this section was to elevate to constitutional status the core substance of the Texas Open Beaches Act.
- Severance v. Patterson, 370 S.W.3d 705, 708-09 (Tex. 2012) ("Oceanfront beaches change every day. . . . Under the common law, the State's right to submerged land, including the wet beach, is firmly established, regardless of the water's incursion onto previously dry land. In contrast, the State has provided no indication that the common law has given the State an easement that rolls or springs onto property never previously encumbered. There are policies that favor and disfavor the right the State claims, but the right cannot be found in the law. The law allows the State to prove an easement as would anyone else.")
- Vernon's Annotated Constitution of the State of Texas (this multi-volume and up-to-date resource is available at all law libraries and many municipal libraries)
- The Texas State Constitution: A Reference Guide (this one-volume resource is available at most law libraries and some municipal libraries)
- The Constitution of the State of Texas: An Annotated and Comparative Analysis (this two-volume resource is available at most law libraries and some municipal libraries)
- Constitution of the State of Texas (1876) (this resource is published and maintained by the University of Texas School of Law)
- Amendments to the Texas Constitution Since 1876 (this resource is published and regularly updated by the Legislative Council)
- Reports Analyzing Proposed Amendments (this resource is published and regularly updated by the Legislative Reference Library)