Hunter: Your Nature Tourism & Summer Fun Options Along the Coastal Bend of Texas

Some wonderful opportunities and unique information about the attractions or activities along the Texas Coast

By State Rep. Todd Hunter

AUSTIN Texas (Texas Insider Report)  The Coastal Bend of Texas is one of the top tourism destinations in the state. This is due in great part to our regions many historical cultural and coastal attractions.

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With the summer travel season well underway Id like to make sure you know about some of the wonderful opportunities along the coast and share some information with you about several unique nature-based attractions or activities found along the Texas Coastal Bend.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department defines nature tourism as tourism based on the natural attractions in the area and may include such activities as bird-watching stargazing camping hiking hunting fishing and visiting parks or wildlife habitats.

As a coastal community our area is home to several beaches bays and estuaries that are popular destinations for visitors to our area including the Padre Island National Seashore and Mustang Island State Park.

According to the National Park Service the Padre Island National Seashore is the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier in the world and contains 70 miles of protected coastline dunes prairies and wind tidal flats. The parks diverse ecosystem makes it a haven for different marine and wildlife including the Kemps Ridley sea turtle which is an endangered species.

The Amos Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) is a program at the University of Texas- Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas that works to help care for and rehabilitate our wildlife to ensure the successful release of as many animals as possible.

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Meanwhile Mustang Island State Park offers access to five miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico where visitors of all ages participate in activities such as swimming kayaking camping and fishing.

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 driving visitors to our area: bird-watching.

With over 215 species of birds spotted in the area the Audubon Society has routinely named Nueces County as one of the premier destinations for birdwatching in the country.

Both Corpus Christi and Port Aransas are part of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Departments Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail an online resource providing information about the best locations to spot birds and other wildlife.

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These coastal attractions are great to do during the summer and June 21st marked the first day of summer for 2019!

It is important to remember to stay cool and safe in our Texas heat. The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) states that extreme heat causes more than 600 deaths each year. Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable yet many people still die from extreme heat every year. The CDC says drinking water even when you are not thirsty lessen midday activities and wear sunscreen outdoors are some ways to help you have a safe and fun summer!

The CDC website offers many ways to make sure you are safe during the summer.

If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this article please dont hesitate to call my Capitol or District Offices. 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).

And 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.

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Texas State Representative Todd Hunter represents Texas House District 32 covering Aransas Calhoun Nueces (Part) and San Patricio Counties. He can be emailed at todd.hunter@house.texas.gov

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