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Posts Tagged ‘Texas Gulf Coast beach’

It’s National Clean Beaches Week!

Posted by Jody on July 5, 2014

Feeling the Love on Harrison County Sand Beach, Mississippi

Feeling the Love on Harrison County Sand Beach, Mississippi

Celebrated annually (July 1-7) as the “Earth Day” for beaches, National Clean Beaches Week is a friendly reminder that the planet’s shorelines deserve a little tender loving care. The Clean Beaches Coalition leads the way with a “network of coastal organizations and individuals committed to promoting clean, healthy and well managed beaches around the world.” Who doesn’t think that’s a great idea!?

Here’s our very own up close and personal look at why our beaches need to feel the love too:

Yep!

Yep!

Not really feeling the love!
Not feeling the love!
Still not feeling the love...
Still not feeling the love…

 ~~~

OK, so now I'm feeling the love!
OK, so now I’m feeling the love!

~~~

The Clean Beaches Coalition (CBC) certifies deserving beaches as “Blue Wave.” Blue Wave Beaches are accredited according to their active participation in embracing and promoting the “7 Blue Wave Ethics.”

They are:
1. Leave no trace
2. Move your body
3. Don’t tread the dunes
4. Know your limits
5. You are what you eat
6. Feed your mind
7. Respect the ocean

Is your favorite beach a Blue Wave Beach? Or perhaps it has a different certification? We’d love to hear about it!

Rockport's Blue Wave Beach (Texas)

Rockport’s Blue Wave Beach (Texas)

~~~

Helpful links:

Blue Wave Beach Certification

Harrison County Sand Beach, Mississippi (Photo #1)

Rockport, Texas  ~Texas’ First Certified Blue Wave Beach~ (Photo #6)

 

 

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Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Most of the Way to LA: McFaddin Beach

Posted by E.G.D. on June 17, 2014

Beautiful Day at McFaddin Beach (Photo by E. G. D.)

Beautiful Day at McFaddin Beach (Photo by E.G.D.)

The Sign (Photo by E.G.D.)

The Sign (Photo by E.G.D.)

The other day, one of my many jobs sent me to Nederland, TX, which is about two hours east of the part of Houston in which I live. I needed to be in Nederland for a grand total of two and a half hours. Crazy, right? I drove a total of four hours for a job that lasted fewer than three! Suffice it to say, I felt the need to justify all that driving with a bit of fun, and I wound up driving an extra 20 minutes east so that I could visit McFaddin Beach (and I highly recommend you click that link, because the article is EXTREMELY worthy of note, especially if you are interested in finding fossils on a beach). McFaddin Beach, also known as the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, was on fire last time I passed it by. Mom (known more commonly here as Jody) and I tried to visit Sea Rim State Park on our way to Louisiana last summer, and we didn’t make it very far because there was an extremely smoky brush fire raging there. McFaddin is immediately past Sea Rim State Park on the same road, and I am happy to report that it was absolutely fire-free this time around.

High Tide (Photo by E.G.D.)

High Tide (Photo by E.G.D.)

In fact, I had the great good fortune to enjoy it on a truly beautiful day! I was at first disappointed that I arrived at high tide (the water was all the way up to the knee-high, three-yard-wide pile of seaweed that separates the parking area from the water), but over the course of the two or three hours I wandered there, the tide receded somewhat, and I found a startling array of truly remarkable shells! I found no fewer than nine whole and completely undamaged angel wings, two brightly colored and unoccupied shark-eye snail shells, and some very nice whelk pieces, among other things. I even found a very nice piece of green sea glass.

While I wandered, I passed kids playing in the silt, a good number of adults wading, swimming, and sun bathing, and an older gentleman searching the beach with his metal detector. I watched whole flying and floating flocks of some sort of very large bird I never managed to identify. I discovered a weathered coconut, looking rather lonely and a bit out of place on a Texas beach. I startled a few ghost crabs back into their holes, and I returned a couple of beached, live snails to the water (those were actually before I discovered the two unoccupied shells). I will say, though, that I did not pass anything at all along the lines of bathroom facilities, showers, or lifeguard towers. If you plan to visit McFaddin beach (and if you happen to be anywhere near Port Arthur, you really should), bring a jug of water to rinse your feet off and go to the bathroom before leaving town! While you’re at it, I recommend that you pack a picnic, sun block, a hat, and an extra large bag in which to stow your shelling treasures. You’re in for a fun and productive day at the beach!

Anyone Know What These Birds Are? (Photo by E.G.D.)

Anyone Know What These Birds Are? (Photo by E.G.D.)

Treasures (Photo by E.G.D.)

Treasures (Photo by E.G.D.)

Fun stuff!  Have a great day, hopefully at the beach. -E.G.D.

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Places to Go,”Sea”, and Do around North Padre Island: Bob Hall Pier at Padre Balli Park

Posted by Jody on February 2, 2014

Jody:

I know we’re looking forward to our upcoming visit to the beautiful Texas Gulf Coast. Here’s a wonderful little preview!

Originally posted on Coastal Bend Life:

This will be part of a series of places to Go, “Sea”, and Do around the Coastal Bend. I will add posts to this series each week. The first main part of the series will be about North Padre Island. My state of Texas is growing.  I am continually meeting new people in various places who are new to here or visiting here. I often run into people who have questions about where to go when visiting Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend. I am originally from Houston, but have lived South Texas since 1991.I have lived here as a resident but have been here as a tourist before I moved here.  This series will highlight a few of my favorite places in and around our little bend in the coast.

**********

Sunrise on the Gulf of Mexico Photo courtesy of Extremecoast.com

Sunrise on the Gulf of Mexico
Photo courtesy of Extremecoast.com

North Padre Island Here is another one of my favorite places on my ongoing list about North…

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Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Spice of Life

Posted by Jody on September 16, 2013

Texas Gulf Coast Seashells

Texas Gulf Coast Seashells

Variety is the spice of life!

~~~

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Monday Miscellaneous, Sand and Shoreline, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , | 11 Comments »

It’s the First Day of Summer ~ Playtime!

Posted by Jody on June 21, 2013

Surfside Beach, Texas

Playtime at Surfside Beach

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

~~~

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge topic is “The World Through Your Eyes.”

Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

An Early Morning Walk

Posted by Jody on June 10, 2013

An Early Morning Walk

An Early Morning Walk

Take my hand.
We will walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk
without thinking of arriving anywhere.
Walk peacefully.
Walk happily.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Walking Meditation

~~~

Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Monday Miscellaneous, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Simple Seaside Safety Suggestions for Spot

Posted by Jody on April 29, 2013

Quintana Beach County Park

Quintana Beach County Park

My family and I recently enjoyed another lovely day trip to Quintana Beach County Park, one of our absolute favorite Texas coastal recreation areas. This 51-acre natural beachfront playground  is the ultimate dog-friendly family choice in the Lone Star State. Located in Freeport, Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico, it’s a wonderfully scenic and a relatively quick (1 ½ hour) drive south of Houston. Quintana Beach County Park is a much more laid back alternative to the city and beaches of Galveston, which have all of the hustle and bustle you would expect from a typical seaside tourist mecca.

Quintana Beach County Park on the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas

Quintana Beach County Park on the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas

You can feel free to bring Spot along for your day at the beach. At Quintana Beach County Park our tail-wagging companions are welcome.

“Pet Safety on the Beach” as posted at Quintana Beach County Park:

  • If the sand is too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
  • Keep fresh water available for your dog, drinking salt water will make him sick.
  • Use pet-friendly sunscreen on short hair, ears and nose.
  • Provide shade for your dog to rest.

~All very good safety tips~ Please remember that pets need to be restrained (at this beach) at all times and, of course, picking up after Spot is a must!

Quintana Beach County Park, Texas

Quintana Beach County Park, Texas

A while back we published a post on the many reasons to visit this lovely beach park: Quintana Beach County Park on the Texas Gulf Coast – So Many Reasons to Visit. The list includes camp sites (tents, RVs, and vacation cabins), picnic tables, modern restrooms and showers, kayaking, surfing, beachcombing, fishing… and the list goes on.  Being dog-friendly simply adds one more great reason for families to plan the perfect fun-filled trip to Quintana Beach County Park!

Do you have a favorite dog-friendly beach? Please share it with us. We’d love to know!

Here are a few more helpful links:

Quintana Beach County Park

Cesar’s Tips for Your Dog’s Day at the Beach

Doggie Heaven! Muir Beach, California

Have a great day at the beach!

~~~

Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Monday Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Surfside Jetty County Park (Upper Texas Gulf Coast)

Posted by Jody on April 9, 2013

Surfside Jetty County Park, Texas

Surfside Jetty County Park, Texas

Surfside Jetty County Park is the perfect day-trip destination on the Texas Gulf Coast! Two of my top reasons for heading to this particular family friendly beach park are 1) the ample paved parking available right up close to the beach and 2) the well maintained permanent restrooms (both are very hard to come by on this part of the upper Texas Gulf Coast). The park offers so much more, though: a grassy lawn for flying kites and a play area for the kids to romp, covered picnic tables, a sandy beach, and a .6 mile long jetty jutting out into the Gulf of Mexico that’s just right for a leisurely stroll.

Surfside Jetty County Park on the Upper Texas Gulf Coast

Surfside Jetty County Park on the Upper Texas Gulf Coast

The Surfside Jetty was packed with folks fishing from its protective riprap on the sunny spring day we visited, but there was always room for us to pass.

Surfside Jetty, Texas

Surfside Jetty, Texas

The adjacent sandy beach is a wonderful place to beachcomb for seashells. According to the Village of Surfside Beach website, “600 known shell species found among our 27 miles of sandy beaches of Brazoria County.”

It’s also the perfect place for children of all ages to build sand castles, watch the surfers, and swim or splash in the water. *Note: No lifeguards are stationed at Surfside’s beaches.*

Beaches Full of  Treasures at Surfside, Texas

Beaches Full of Treasures at Surfside, Texas

Lots of families came  much better prepared than we were – with camping tents, shade shelters, furnishings of all sorts, well-stocked coolers, and enough packaged food to stock a couple of small convenience stores… I do believe I’ve heard these super organized, ultra-ready people referred to as “beach contractors.” Next time, and there will definitely be a next time, we’ll come better outfitted (with own big top and plenty of provisions) to sit back, relax, and spend the whole day having fun on the sand and shore.

Beach Contractors at Surfside, Texas

Beach Contractors at Surfside, Texas

~~~

 Here’s a peek at some of the beach treasures we found at Surfside Jetty County Park beach!

Surfside Beach Treasures: Oysters, Scallops, Cockles, and Ark Shells

Surfside Beach Treasures

~Oysters, Scallops, Cockles, and Ark Shells!

~~~

Have a great day at the beach!

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , | 16 Comments »

Weekend’s Rock!

Posted by Jody on February 24, 2013

Rip Rap Along the Galveston Seawall

Riprap along the Galveston Seawall and beach, Texas Gulf Coast

I simply love  learning about beachy things! Just a few weeks ago, I came across a new-to-me shoreline term: riprap! Riprap, riprap. Isn’t that a fun word to say? Somehow it makes me think of the nick-nack-paddy-wack song.

~So sorry for the Sunday morning earworm! Really, I am!

“What exactly is riprap?” you ask. Also known as rubble, shot rock, rock armour and often spelled rip rap or rip-rap, it’s the permanent cover of rocky material (frequently granite or limestone) used to defend shorelines and shoreline structures against erosion. On the Texas Gulf Coast you can find riprap protecting seawalls, jetties, and bridge supports.  It’s designed so that the rocks absorb, deflect, and/or dissipate the impact energy of waves (think tropical storms and hurricanes). The spaces between the stones are useful in trapping and slowing the flow of water, thereby reducing its ability to wash away coastal soil and structures. Alternative rock at its best!

Rip Rap along the Quintana Jetty, Texas Gulf Coast

Riprap along the Quintana Jetty (Quintana Beach County Park in the background), Texas Gulf Coast

A closer look at the Quintana Jetty Riprap

A closer look at the Quintana Jetty riprap

Everybody sing!

♫ With a rip-rap-paddy-wack

Waves against the stone

This old gal came strolling home! ♫

~~~~~

Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Weekend's Rock | Tagged: , , , , , | 17 Comments »

A Sea Glass Treasure Trove – Surfside Beach (Texas Gulf Coast)

Posted by Jody on February 7, 2013

Surfside Beach, Texas

Surfside Beach, Texas

The Village of Surfside Beach, Texas, is a little bitty seaside hamlet located on the Gulf of Mexico. Fishing, birding, picnicking and kayaking are just a few of the choices beachgoers have when they visit the shores of this little coastal community.

This stretch of sandy beach on the Texas Coastal Bend is already well known for its wonderful shelling. In fact, according to Surfside’s website, there are 600 known shell species that can be found along the  27 miles of Brazoria County’s beaches. Our family searched and searched for those hundreds of types of seashells and did find many a fine specimen, but, sadly, quite a few had been broken to bits by the trucks and cars that are allowed on so much of this section of  Texas’s coastal beaches.

Surfside Beach, Texas

Surfside Beach, Texas

Never fear, though! All is certainly not lost. (It never is on a day at the beach!) In my book, Surfside Beach is one of the absolute best strands that I’ve ever come across for collecting sea glass!

Beach Treasures from Surfside Beach, Texas Gulf Coast

Beach Treasures from Surfside Beach, Texas Gulf Coast

Greens and blues, pinks and browns, lettered and patterned and smooth; all types of glass in every stage of sea-tumbledness can be found on the sands of Surfside Beach. I won’t share how I think the wave-worn beach glass originates, but I will site rule #11 from the village’s Beach Rules web page, which states: “NO GLASS CONTAINERS ON THE BEACH” (all caps). *This is a great place to caution you to wear shoes on this stretch of shoreline.* The vehicle traffic that easily crushes those 600 species of seashells also breaks glass into pieces which can result in some very sharp edges. Discrimination is the key. It can be very hard for kids of all ages to resist picking every beautiful, glittering, colorful beach treasure they see, so little ones need to be closely supervised here!

Evening Picnic at Surfside Beach, Texas

Evening Picnic at Surfside Beach, Texas

Before or after you’ve filled up your buckets and bags with sea glass and shells, you may want visit Surfside Beach’s Jetty Park which runs along the Freeport Jetties.  It has picnic areas, restrooms, a playground and fantastic views of the gulf and ship channel. You can walk the jetty, fish from the rocks, or simply settle in and watch the huge container ships come and go through the jetty channel.

Surfside Beach is located in Brazoria County, 15 minutes southeast of Lake Jackson, Texas where TX-332 meets TX-257 (Bluewater Highway).

Have a great day at the beach!

~~~~

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , , | 18 Comments »

 
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