The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department hosted a demonstration of their maritime capabilities during a Friday morning gathering at the Solomon P. Ortiz Center, overlooking the Port of Corpus Christi.
Parks and Wildlife recently received national accreditation by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, making them the fourth state conservation law enforcement agency in the country to receive such accreditation.
Their fleet of 564 maritime security vessels, which was unofficially named the "Texas Navy" by former President George W. Bush while he was governor of Texas, includes two 65-foot Gulf of Mexico patrol vessels; 26 Safeboats, high-speed craft with enclosed cabins; and specialized vessels including five gun boats equipped with .30 caliber machine guns.
Twelve of those vessels, along with Parks and Wildlife game wardens, were in Corpus Christi for Friday's demonstration event at the Port of Corpus Christi.
With their new accreditation, Texas Parks and Wildlife will be able to work more closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and other organizations to protect the Texas coast.
NASBLA accreditation is based on the U.S. Coast Guard's national standards of training. The only other state law enforcement agencies that are accredited are the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Massachusetts Environmental Police and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.