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Posts Tagged ‘Galveston Island Seawall beaches’

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 »

Travel Theme: Walls

Posted by Jody on January 26, 2013

The Galveston Seawall

 Every beach has a history!

On September 8, 1900, Galveston (Texas) suffered a devastating blow from a powerful hurricane. The storm surge washed over the entire island, knocking buildings off their foundations and taking the lives of  thousands of Galveston’s citizens.

Galveston Seawall, Galveston Island, Texas

Galveston Seawall, Galveston Island, Texas

On September 7, 1901, in an attempt to prevent future storms from causing such massive destruction and catastrophic loss of life, the Texas State Legislature approved an act providing for the construction of a seawall for Galveston’s Gulf of Mexico coastline. The initial 3.3 mile long segment of the new Galveston Seawall was completed on July 29, 1904. Standing approximately 17 feet high, the concrete barrier was engineered to be 5 feet wide on the top and 16 feet wide at its base.  The outer face of the Seawall was curved to carry waves upwards. Riprap was deposited along the base of the Seawall facing the Gulf Of Mexico in order to disrupt wave action and prevent the wall’s foundation from being undercut.

After the Seawall was completed, dredged sand and slush from the seabed were pumped into the city of Galveston to raise the ground by as much as 17 feet above its previous elevation! Isn’t that amazing?

Galveston Seawall Beach, Galveston Island, Texas

Galveston Seawall and Seawall Beach, Galveston Island, Texas

In 1977,  the Galveston Seawall was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In 2001, the Galveston Seawall and the regrading of the City of Galveston were jointly named a National Historical Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Today, the pedestrian friendly, mural-painted Galveston Seawall runs for 10.4  miles along Galveston Island’s beautiful, sandy Gulf Coast beaches. It’s a lovely place to take a leisurely walk and enjoy the beachy views!

Galveston Seawall & Grade Raise – Texas Parks & Wildlife [Official Video]:

Additional reference: The 1900 Storm


Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Shellabrating National Grandparents Day!

Posted by Jody on September 9, 2012

Beachcombing with Dadu on Galveston Island, Texas!

“What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. 

They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. 

And, most importantly, cookies.”  ~Rudolph Giuliani


Posted in Today's Special | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

The Colors of Galveston Island, Texas

Posted by Jody on March 26, 2012

If you’ve been to a number of beaches in a number of states, you’ve noticed that there are differing flag warning systems in place.  It can seem pretty confusing! The State of Florida has one uniform beach flag warning system for the entire Sunshine State, encompassing both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.  Chicago, Illinois has its own system of colors for beach warning flags covering their 33 beaches on the shores of Lake Michigan. Galveston Island, Texas has yet another set of flag colors for its 32 miles of beaches on the Gulf of Mexico.

Kristie, Oona and Liam at Galveston Island, Texas - The yellow warning flag "indicates caution should be used when entering any body of water. This flag is flown for normal conditions to remind swimmers to stay alert."

It’s a good policy to check out the beach flag warning system online before you head for the beach.  But, if the beach you are visiting is protected by a lifeguard patrol, you should be able to find the color key to their beach flag system displayed at or near the lifeguard tower(s) and possibly near the beach’s access points.

We found this past weekend that Galveston beaches display their colors prominently along the famous Seawall. The Galveston Island Beach Patrol also flies their own banner on each tower, indicating that a lifeguard is on duty.

Galveston Island, Texas - Lifeguard near lifeguard tower displaying the beach patrol banner and yellow beach warning flag. The tower also displays the color key for the beach warning flag system.

Here’s the rundown for Galveston Island’s colored beach warning flags and their meanings straight from the folks at

Green: Conditions are calm. Swim with care.

Yellow: Indicates caution should be used when entering any body of water. This flag is flown for normal conditions to remind swimmers to stay alert.

Red: Flown when conditions are determined to be out of the ordinary, such as presence of strong wind, strong current or large surf. Adult swimmers should stay in water no more than waist deep and non-swimmers and children should be kept along the surf line.

Blue: Indicates a potential problem with jellyfish, Portuguese man-o-war, stingrays or other marine life that could be a hazard for swimmers. Blue flags can be used in combination with other flags.

Orange: Environmental warning for air and/or water quality. See notice board for details.

A gorgeous March day at Seawall Beach, Galveston Island, Texas

There we have it!  The beach flag warning system for Galveston Island, Texas. It’s not confusing after all, if you take it one beach at a time.  ~Thank heaven for prominently posted signs and the internet!

Be safe and have a wonderful day at the beach!

Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Monday Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Galveston Island: A Texas Oasis

Posted by Jody on August 15, 2011

I had the pleasure of visiting my eldest daughter and grandchildren in Houston, Texas last summer.  Believe me, being a resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico, I can now proclaim with authority:  “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”! In Albuquerque, we enjoy many days of high desert sunshine with under 10% humidity, aka: “It’s a dry heat”.

I loved having so much time to spend with the kids. On weekdays, we would be out at the playground in the early hours of the morning, but by 9:30 AM we would have to come back inside due to the oppressive temperatures.  No kidding!  That left us 9 hours for indoor fun time!

Galveston Island – Seawall Beach (©Jody Diehl)

Happily, on the weekends, we headed to the beaches of GalvestonGalveston Island, situated on the Gulf of Mexico, is just 50 miles south of Houston. It’s the perfect destination for anyone wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle, heat and humidity of the big city. Galveston Island offers 32 miles of beautiful, well-groomed Gulf Coast beaches and an average summer temperature of 81 degrees. With the added incentive of easy beach access,  it’s no wonder Houstonians head for Galveston in droves.

You’ll find plenty of outdoor fun on the treasure beaches of Galveston Island.  According to, “At 10.4 miles long, the seawall lining the Gulf of Mexico is the world’s longest continuous sidewalk and attracts walkers, joggers, bicyclists, surfers, sunbathers, skaters and sightseers year-round.”  Sailing,volleyball and birding are also high on the visitor to-do list.

Lunchtime at the Beach (©Jody Diehl)

There are plenty of restaurants near Galveston‘s Seawall Beaches. You can always pack a picnic, though (or not).  o_O

Before you head to the beaches of Galveston Island, be sure to print up the extremely helpful Beach Access Map Brochure provided by the City of Galveston. In addition to having a detailed access map, it’s loaded with practical ocean safety tips.

Stay safe, and always swim near a lifeguard!  -J-

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

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