Texas has over 360 miles of coastline that line the Gulf of Mexico, also known as the Gulf Coast. The coastline and beaches of Texas are important to our great state. These areas are home to marine life, wildlife and their natural habitats. Texas beaches are also popular tourist destinations. Preserving these natural areas is essential to our state’s well being.

Texas beaches are home to many creatures like birds, turtles, and fish. Our warm climate as well as the sand, wind, and water of the Texas coast make us unique. The beach climate draws much wildlife to this area. For example, the ecosystem of our state produces ideal turtle egg-laying and hatching sights. Hundreds of species of birds migrate to this climate area each year. Several crabs, snails, oysters, and more can be found on the beaches. One snail that can only be found on Texas beaches is the lightning whelk. The distinctive shell of this snail is the official shell of the State of Texas!

The beaches of Texas are important for our ecosystem, communities, and economy. It is essential to care for the coastline by not leaving trash, and to recycle properly. We must protect against pollution and coastal erosion. Coastal/beach erosion is the displacement or deterioration of sand. We rely on beaches, sand dunes and wetlands, for protection against major storms. These natural barriers mitigate the damages from major storms, like hurricanes. The Texas General Land Office, Texas Beach Watch, the Texas Coastal Erosion Data Network, and other local organizations work together to create preventative barriers, like jetties, to slow the rate of erosion.

The efforts to keep Texas beaches beautiful have paid off. Texas is nationally ranked in top beach destinations! On the southern coast, Corpus Christi and Port Aransas have several beach locations to visit. These include the Padre Island National Seashore, Mustang Island State Park, J.P. Luby Surf Park/North Packery Beach, Whitecap Beach, Padre Balli Park/Bob Hall Pier, I.B. McGee Beach Park/Horace Caldwell Pier, North Beach, South Packery Channel Beach, and San Jose Island. Each of these locations offers outstanding views and recreational activities. Some of these include fishing, hiking trails, RV access/camping, swimming, windsurfing/kiteboarding, kayaking/canoeing, and birding/wildlife viewing sights. Links to each of these beaches can be found at The Beaches of Corpus Christi, Beaches of North Padre and Mustang Island, and Port Aransas & Mustang Island.

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. As always, 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