Enjoy Nature in the Coastal Bend

In this week’s article, I will be highlighting some opportunities to experience the nature and wildlife that is native to the Coastal Bend. The Coastal Bend is also home to several parks and preserves that serve as a refuge for migratory birds and other wildlife. These habitats contribute to one of the best examples of nature‐based activities for visitors and residents in our area. Both Corpus Christi and Port Aransas are part of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, an online resource providing information about the best locations to spot birds and other wildlife. For more information about the different wildlife habitats, parks, and nature preserves in our area, visit the Great Texas Coast Birding Trail.

A fantastic opportunity to participate in guided nature walks is at the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve and Learning Center. The nature preserves, the guided nature walks go through, is located on a 162-acre lot of land that spans across two miles. The nature preserve is home to many different species of birds, wildlife and plants native to our local wetlands. The Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve & Learning Center makes it a mission to strengthen community understanding regarding the need to protect Corpus Christi’s natural resources present in the coastal ecosystems for generations to come through admission to many free and educational events. The guided nature walks are a great way to take advantage of what the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve & Learning Center has to offer for the community.

Individuals can also participate in Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve & Learning Center’s trading post, which allows people to exchange personal items found in nature that did not come from the preserve itself. The trading post is just one example of an additional resource the Learning Center provides. The Learning Center also has an extended calendar of events, ranging from family yoga classes to animal meet and greets. For more information on the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve and Learning Center, visit the Osos Bay Wetlands Preserve & Learning Center.

Another great way that Coastal Bend wildlife is being showcased is the 24th Annual Whooping Crane Festival will be held in Port Aransas from February 20-23. This festival celebrates the annual return of the whooping cranes to their wintering habitat at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. This festival is a one of a kind events, focused on the Whooping Crane-the rarest of cranes and one of the most endangered birds in the world. The Texas Coastal Bend is a place where you can see the world’s last naturally occurring population of Whooping Cranes.

The Whooping Crane festival is open to birders, photographers, families, and all nature lovers. Festival activities include boat and bus tours, interactive workshops, seminars, a painting and wine tasting class, and a free nature-related trade show. A panel of speakers, including world-renowned crane expert, Dr. George Archibald, Co-Founder of the International Crane Foundation, along with representatives from Wood Buffalo National Park, the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, and more. For more information about the Whooping Crane Festival visit the Whooping Crane Festival.

If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this week’s article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. Please always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services. My offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).

– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32

Rep. Hunter represents Nueces County (Part). He can be contacted at todd.hunter@house.texas.gov or at 512-463-0672.