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  H.B. No. 3279
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the uprooting of seagrass plants; creating an offense.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter A, Chapter 66, Parks and Wildlife
  Code, is amended by adding Section 66.024 to read as follows:
         Sec. 66.024.  SEAGRASS PLANTS.  (a)  In this section,
  "seagrass plant" means a flowering marine plant of the species:
               (1)  Cymodocea filiformis, known as manatee grass;
               (2)  Halodule beaudettei or Halodule wrightii, known as
  shoal grass;
               (3)  Halophila engelmannii, known as star grass or
  Engelmann's seagrass;
               (4)  Ruppia maritima, known as widgeon grass; or
               (5)  Thalassia testudinum, known as turtle grass.
         (b)  A person may not uproot or dig out any rooted seagrass
  plant from a bay bottom or other saltwater bottom area in the
  jurisdiction of this state by means of a propeller, except as that
  uprooting or digging out may be authorized by a commercial license
  or permit issued by the department.
         (c)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section that a
  person:
               (1)  anchors a vessel within an area containing
  seagrass plants and uproots a seagrass plant;
               (2)  uses an electric trolling motor within an area
  containing seagrass plants and uproots a seagrass plant; or
               (3)  operates a vessel in a manner consistent with the
  acceleration required to reach and stay on plane.
         (d)  A person who violates this section or a proclamation of
  the commission under this section commits an offense that is a Class
  C Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2013.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 3279 was passed by the House on May
  10, 2013, by the following vote:  Yeas 129, Nays 14, 2 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 3279 on May 23, 2013, by the following vote:  Yeas 118, Nays 28,
  2 present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 3279 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 20, 2013, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays
  1.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor