A diverse coalition of stakeholders has worked together over the past three years to develop and define the proposed Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area. This coalition includes a region-wide steering committee, participating landowners that together represent more than 20,000 acres of suitable park-related sites, and other supporting entities from within the project area. The Coalition is led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, honorary co-chair, John L. Nau, III, honorary co-chair, and J.P. Bryan, chair and is facilitated by the Lone Star Coastal Alliance, which provides staffing and other resources.
LSCNRA Steering Committee members facilitate dialogue with the Texas public, the business community, local organizations, local communities, and state and federal leaders to achieve the necessary community and political support for Congressional designation of the proposed Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area.
The Steering Committee includes elected officials and leaders from the corporate, ranching and community sectors. They serve voluntarily and are drawn from the entire region.
- Sec. James A. Baker, III, Honorary Co-Chair
- Mrs. Susan Garrett Baker, Honorary Co-Chair
- Mr. John L. Nau, III, Honorary Co-Chair
- Mr. J.P. Bryan, Chair
- Mr. Doug McLeod, Vice Chair
- Mr. Laurance Armour
- The Hon. Jeff Branick
- Dr. Craig Brown
- Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell
- Mr. Bruce L. Cartwright
- Mr. Bob Cavnar
- Mr. Tony Chase
- Ms. Colleen Claybourn
- Ms. Ruth Flournoy
- Mr. Robert L. Garrett
- Ms. Lisa S. Harrison
- Mr. Jeff Hildebrand
- Mr. Paul Hobby
- Mr. John Hofmeister
- Ms. Laura Huffman
- Mr. Bill King
- Mr. C. Berdon Lawrence
- The Hon. Nate McDonald
- Mr. Doug McLeod
- Ms. Catherine Mosbacher
- The Hon. Dude Payne
- Ms. Cynthia Pickett-Stevenson
- The Hon. Kent Pollard
- Ms. Mary Ruth Rhodenbaugh
- Ms. Beth Robertson
- Dr. Andy Sansom
- The Hon. Matt Sebesta
- Ms. Vivian B. Todd
- Mr. Richard R. Torres
- Ms. Elizabeth Waddill
- Ms. Cathy A. Wakefield
- Ms. Paula Whitney
Partners and Supporters
To date, more than two dozen stakeholder entities, including local governments and non-governmental organizations, have submitted formal letters or official resolutions from their governing bodies expressing support for the proposed Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area and/or an intention to participate in the LSCNRA once established. Together these entities own and manage more than 20,000 acres of land located within the area sought for designation.
- Artist Boat
- Audubon Texas
- Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America
- Brazoria County
- Bryan Museum
- City of Bay City
- City of Freeport
- City of Galveston
- City of Palacios
- City of Texas City
- Cradle of Texas Conservancy
- Galveston Bay Foundation
- Galveston County
- Galveston Historical Foundation
- Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees
- Gulf Coast Bird Observatory
- Houston Audubon Society
- Lower Colorado River Authority
- Lone Star Coastal Alliance
- Jefferson County
- Matagorda County
- Matagorda County Birding Nature Center
- National Park Service
- Palacios Prairie Wetlands
- Sea Star Base-Galveston
- Scenic Galveston
- Texas Historical Commission
- Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
- Texas General Land Office
- Texas Department of Transportation
- The Nature Conservancy-Texas
- Village of Surfside Beach
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Additional Endorsements and Support
- Barbers Hill ISD
- Brown FoundationFoundation
- City of Brazoria
- Christmas Bay Foundation
- Coastal Conservation Association Texas (CCA Texas)
- The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation
- Dow Chemical Company
- Ducks Unlimited
- EDAREN Foundation
- Elkins Foundation
- Flower Garden Banks Sanctuary Advisory Council
- Friends of Anahuac Refuge
- Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council
- George C. Hixon Foundation
- Alfred C. Glassell, III
- Houston Endowment
- Huffington Foundation
- Jacob and Therese Hershey Foundation
- Knobloch Family Foundation
- Lyda Hill Foundation
- Matagorda Bay Foundation
- Matagorda Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Moody Gardens
- National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
- Nau Foundation
- Peninsula Development Coalition (PenDeCo)
- Rice University
- Chula and Ramon Sanchez
- Save Our Beach Association
- Sea Turtle Restoration Project
- Trull Foundation
- West Galveston Island Property Owners Association
Coalition Key Tasks
Together, the LSCNRA Coalition works to:
- Identify and address information needs, including mapping; identification and assessment of natural, historic and cultural, recreational, and infrastructure assets; evaluation of storm surge and related coastal threats and ecosystem benefits; economic benefits information, and; other technical and scientific information necessary to complete a review regarding the suitability and feasibility of a national recreation area designation
- Review design and implementation concepts and develop draft legislation, including a recommended governing structure for the partnership to maximize the benefits of the LSCNRA to the local region.
- Communicate with key opinion leaders, the business community, local organizations and elected and agency officials at the federal, state and local levels to elicit their ideas and achieve their endorsement of and commitment to the concept
Coalition Leadership Team
James A. Baker, III, Honorary Co-Chair
James A. Baker, III is one of America’s finest diplomats and public servants. During his almost four years as Secretary of State for President George H.W. Bush, Baker helped guide the country through a complex period of grave risk and great opportunity — one that resulted in the peaceful end to the Cold War, the re-unification of Germany, the first peace negotiations between Israel and all of its Arab neighbors, the unprecedented international coalitions to eject Iraqi troops from Kuwait and the negotiation and ratification of the first nuclear-weapons reduction treaty. During the eight years before then, as White House Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Treasury for President Ronald Reagan, Baker helped put into place economic policies that stimulated domestic growth for two decades.
Though politics and public service have been his vocation during much of his adult life, Baker’s avocation has always been hunting and fishing. Learning those skills from his father when he was a boy, Baker has spent many of his best moments hunting ducks in the Texas wetlands and casting for trout and redfish along the Texas Gulf Coast. As a partner today with the law firm Baker Botts L.L.P., Baker’s familiarity and love of the region is one reason he wants to enhance it economically and environmentally by establishing the Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area.
John L. Nau, III, Honorary Co-Chair
John L. Nau, III is Chairman of the Board of Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P., the nation’s largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch products. Silver Eagle employs over 1,300 employees that serve 16 counties in Texas through operations in Houston, San Antonio, Conroe, Cypress, Pasadena and Rosenberg. Silver Eagle also distributes Grupo Modelo beers, a broad selection of microbrews and craft beers, and several non-alcohol beverages and waters.
Nau’s commitment to service is apparent through a broad spectrum of participation in civic, community, and philanthropic organizations in Houston and throughout the country. His current involvement includes Vice Chairman of the National Parks Foundation Board of Directors, Civil War Trust Board of Directors, Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Board of Trustees, President of The Texas State Historical Association, Honorary Trustee of Texas Heart Institute, Honorary State Trustee for the San Antonio Parks Foundation and Advisory Council member to the Center for Big Bend Studies. He also serves as a Board Member for Discovery Green Conservancy, Friends of the Texas Historical Commission, Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park, Houston Police Foundation and The Admiral Nimitz Foundation. Additionally, he is Chairman of the board for the Nau Center for Texas Cultural Heritage and Chairman of the Steering Committee for the proposed Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area.
He is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and currently serves on the Board of Visitors, a position appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He is founder and President of The Nau Foundation.
J.P. Bryan, Chair
J.P. Bryan, a Freeport native and lateral descendant of Stephen F. Austin, comes by his passion for history and the upper Texas Gulf Coast naturally. Growing up, he was shaped by the countless hours he spent with his grandmother on the beach near Freeport. He swam and fished, and together they marked sea turtle nests so passers-by would not disturb them. His principal passion, however, is history and he began collecting at the age of ten, his first purchases including a Moore’s patent Front Loading Revolver and a Sharps Patent Four-Barrel Derringer.
Later, while attending the University of Texas at Austin, he started a notable rare book and printing business with John H. Jenkins. It was then that his passion for collecting Texana and Texas art expanded. Bryan purchased important ephemera collections, including those of painter Frank Reaugh and illustrator José Cisneros, who recreated scenes of the Spanish southwest.
In 1981, Bryan started Torch Energy Advisors and housed his collection in its offices. Over the next thirty-two years, the collection continued to expand until it covered more than 25,000 square feet. Bryan termed it “The Visions of the West Collection.”
In recent years, Bryan has filled in the few remaining gaps in his remarkable collection. In October 2013, Bryan purchased the old Galveston Orphans Home and after a careful restoration of the historic structure, The Bryan Museum opened in June 2015. The Bryan Museum tells the history of Texas and the American West with a special emphasis on the Spanish influences in the region.
Doug McLeod, Co-Chair
Doug McLeod, lifelong Galvestonian, is an attorney-at-law and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Moody Gardens, Inc. After serving honorably in the U.S. Marines, Doug began his career with the Moody Interests in summer jobs during his college years. He was an elected official for 14 years, first as member and President of the Galveston I.S.D. (public school) Board, then as Mayor Pro-Tem and City Councilman, and also as three-term member of the Texas House of Representatives. Doug serves on a number of corporate and civic boards of directors including American National Insurance Company, Anrem Corporation, National Western Life Insurance Company, Independent County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas, The Colonel Museum, Inc., the Advisory Board of Bay Area Boy Scouts, and the Executive Committee of the Knights of Momus (the “krewe” which is the major underwriter and organizer of Galveston’s annual Mardi Gras). He is also a former member of the Board of Trustees, Executive Committee, and Chairman of the Audit Committee of South Texas College of Law.
Doug has been honored with the Galveston Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year” distinguished service award, inducted into Ball High School’s Wall of Fame as a former letterman, honored as “Tau Man” -Texas Kappa Sigma of the Year, received the 2010 UNT Green Glory Award, and in 2012, the annual George P. Mitchell Mardi Gras Award and the Boy Scouts of America Golden Eagle Award. His degrees include a B.B.A., a Doctor of Jurisprudence, and an LL.M. in International Economic Law, and he serves on the board of Currents, an international trade law journal. He and his wife Joan, a Fort Bend County rancher, have five daughters and a son, three of whom are also attorneys. The McLeods are active in Houston as well as Galveston endeavors and maintain residences in Houston and at the historic Williams Ranch in nearby Richmond, Texas.
In 2014, the Lone Star Coastal Alliance (the Alliance), a 501(c)(3) organization, was formed to help realize the goal of the proposed Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area (LSCNRA) along the upper Texas Gulf Coast, and to provide financial and other support to the LSCNRA once established. Currently, the Alliance is working closely with the other members of the coalition to identify needs to be filled and opportunities to be seized.
One primary purpose of the Alliance is to educate, through media and a public presence, the benefits of establishing and sustaining the upper Texas Gulf coastal region through the LSCNRA. Toward that end, the Alliance maintains this website to promote awareness of the proposed LSCNRA and the efforts of the members of the Steering Committee, Partners Coalition and others to attain designation.
Additionally, the Alliance will support the ongoing preparatory planning and implementation process of the LSCNRA Coalition, as well as generally promoting awareness of the region’s natural, historic, and recreational assets through education, outreach, volunteerism, and other programs and support.
Severe Storm Prediction, Education, and Evacuation from Disasters Center (SSPEED Center), Rice University
Since 2008, the Severe Storm Prediction, Education, and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center at Rice University has been studying “lessons learned” from Hurricane Ike under grant funding primarily from the Houston Endowment. Early on in that research, the SSPEED Center recommended that the low-lying areas of four counties be incorporated into a non-structural flood storage and damage mitigation strategy for the upper Texas Gulf coast.
Informed by work done by a recovery team studying the Bolivar Peninsula and observations about surge flood storage in low-lying areas of the coast in association with Hurricane Ike, the SSPEED Center team developed ideas and strategies for creating alternative, surge-resilient, economies in the these areas. Out of this initial work emerged a very preliminary proposal for creation of a unit of the National Park System which would network existing federal, state and local governmental lands, along with property owned by non-governmental organizations, to collectively highlight the region’s outstanding natural resources and promote the economic development opportunity presented by outdoor recreation and nature tourism. These ideas were adopted and developed more fully into the proposed Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area by the Partners Coalition and Steering Committee. These groups and others are working together to realize this vision.
Since 1919, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice of the American people, working to protect our existing national parks and landmarks and helping to establish new national park units where there are extraordinary natural, cultural, or historic assets. NPCA has 23 field offices and a network of more than a million members and supporters including more than 50,000 in Texas.
NPCA’s Texas Regional Office opened in 2007 to better represent and support the 13 national parks in the state, including Big Bend National Park and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. In 2011, NPCA was invited to assist in seeking national park status for the upper Texas Gulf coast. As of August 2018, NPCA is no longer participating in the LSCNRA project, and we are grateful to NPCA for its support in previous years.