LCRA awards $25,000 grant to Matagorda County for two all-purpose ATVs
New vehicles will improve beach patrols, emergency response and public works
May 4, 2023
MATAGORDA COUNTY, Texas – A $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority will enable Matagorda County to purchase two all-terrain vehicles that will improve beach patrols and emergency response along the coast.lcra.org/cdpp.The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $13,576 in matching funds from Matagorda County, will pay for a pair of four-seat ATVs and trailers to transport them. The new four-wheel-drive vehicles will be available for search-and-rescue missions and other emergency responses; beach patrol and upkeep; and public works projects. Mike Estlinbaum, who took office as Matagorda County commissioner for Precinct 2 in January, said he saw the need for the versatile vehicles right away. “Just being an everyday citizen at the beach, I noticed the lack of patrols,” he said. “New vehicles weren’t in the budget that I inherited so we applied for the grant, and LCRA was gracious enough to select us.” The precinct has one ATV, but Estlinbaum said it has been in the beach environment for several years. “It’s pretty used up,” he said. “By getting a couple new ones, we’ll triple our effectiveness patrolling the beach.” Matagorda County includes more than 50 miles of shoreline, with more than 20 miles that is open to vehicle traffic. Each year, tens of thousands of people enjoy the sun and surf at Matagorda and Sargent beaches, and Matagorda County is committed to keeping the beaches clean and beachgoers safe, Estlinbaum said. The new ATVs will be able to travel the sandy coastline with ease, allowing crews to remove trash and debris from the beaches and install or update signage alerting swimmers to safety concerns, including riptides and drop-off areas. The vehicles also will help first responders provide care to injured beachgoers more quickly. In addition, Matagorda County will use the new vehicles for activities such as crowd control at public events and assisting the local volunteer fire departments in fighting grassfires and responding to emergency calls. “Having this type of off-road access in this rural area is very important,” Estlinbaum said. The community grant is one of 34 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.