The estuaries of Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge are an important nursery for the fish and shellfish species found in the Gulf of Mexico. Beyond the estuaries, the saltwater marshes ease inland. Fresh water from an occasional storm and the inflow from rivers and creeks helps to keep saltwater out of the freshwater marshes, as well as providing nutrients and sediments. With the change in salinity level comes a different plant community. Though remnant stands of native prairie can be found on the refuge, almost all the region’s historic native coastal tallgrass prairie has been lost. These small but remaining areas play a vital role to many species that call the refuge home, from insects to migrating birds.
With 35,000 acres of brackish and freshwater marsh, flooded moist soil units and the East Galveston Bay shoreline, the refuge offers a full range of coastal and migratory birds. Park roads, trails and boardwalks provide excellent viewing of several varieties of rails, herons, egrets, waterfowl, Seaside Sparrow, late Nelson’s Sparrow, Sedge and Marsh Wrens, some raptors, early migrant warblers, and alligators.
Note: The cost of this trip is to cover festival expenses. The Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge does not charge for any activities on the refuge.
Bring: water, lunch, sunscreen, bug spray
Photo: Angela McCain