In this section, “seagrass plant” means a flowering marine plant of the species:
Cymodocea filiformis, known as manatee grass;
Halodule beaudettei or Halodule wrightii, known as shoal grass;
Halophila engelmannii, known as star grass or Engelmann’s seagrass;
Ruppia maritima, known as widgeon grass; or
Thalassia testudinum, known as turtle grass.
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.
It is a defense to prosecution under this section that a person:
anchors a vessel within an area containing seagrass plants and uproots a seagrass plant;
uses an electric trolling motor within an area containing seagrass plants and uproots a seagrass plant; or
operates a vessel in a manner consistent with the acceleration required to reach and stay on plane.
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.Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1071 (H.B. 3279), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.