Pleasure Island enthusiast talks of positive changes; Port Arthur improvements planned

Published 12:40 am Thursday, March 31, 2022

Ronnie Moon currently lives in Nederland, but Pleasure Island is his home.

“I’m on Pleasure Island almost seven days a week for the last 10-15 years,” he said. “For the first time, I see positive movement. You can drive across the Pleasure Island bridge now, and it’s the cleanest I’ve seen it for years.”

Moon began organizing island cleanups while working for ExxonMobil. Now retired, he continues to do so on his own.

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“The little things are what’s going to make Pleasure Island shine,” he said.

While he’s out there picking up trash, Moon talks with those who are on the island fishing. He takes photos once they’ve caught a fish, and his wife posts it on Lake Sabine fishing Facebook page.

“It’s some of the best fishing along the Southeast Texas coast,” he said.

Councilman Thomas Kinlaw takes to Pleasure Island often to fish, as well.

“When he says he’s out there seven days a week, it’s absolutely true,” Kinlaw said of Moon. “We talk, and we talk about changes and some of the things we can do to improve the levees. It’s one of my favorite spots to go.”

A Texas Parks and Wildlife grant will allow the city of Port Arthur to evaluate repairs to Pleasure Island Pier, pictured, and Miracle Beach Boat Launch. (Monique Batson/The News)

In the last year, the council has taken several steps to help improve conditions on the island. In June, the city received a $110,362 planning grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife to study Pleasure Island Pier and Miracle Beach Boat Launch.

Both sustained significant damage from weather events.

The study, which will be done over 18 months, determines the feasibility of updating the 30-year-old, 275-feet-long pier and the boat launch at the end of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Following the study, a two-year construction phase would begin.

Last March, the county approved a similar TPW grant to remove and replace the Mesquite Point Public Boat Ramp on Texas 82, which was damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

While Moon expressed concern over road conditions, overall he was complimentary of recent efforts to improve the island.

“I just love Pleasure Island,” he said. “I’ve spent my life out there, and I’m probably going to end up spending my life out there. I’m going to help with anything I can on the island.”

Fishing tournament and cleanup

On May 21 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., Moon and his wife will host the 4th annual Pleasure Island North Levee Fishing Contest and Cleanup. The event is free to the public. Registration begins at 7 a.m., with an 11:30 a.m. at S.A.L.T. Club. There will also be food, drinks, door prizes and awards. The contest will abide by TPW rules, and no boats are allowed. Fishing will be for speckled trout, redfish and flounder.