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The Galveston Bay Area is an area that surrounds the Galveston Baymarker estuary of Southeast Texas within the metropolitan area. Residents of Houston and surrounding areas typically call it simply the "Bay Area."Chang (2006), p. 186.

Blackburn (2004), p. 64.

Antrobus (2005), p. 57.

 Normally the term refers to the mainland communities around the bay and excludes Galvestonmarker as well as most of Houstonmarker.

Originally part of the pirate kingdom of Jean Lafitte, this area played a role in the early history of Texas having been the site of some early rebellions against Mexican rule and the site of the victory of the Texas armymarker over the Mexican army during the Texas Revolution. Ranching interests became early economic drivers around the bay. As the nearby cities of Galveston and Houston developed as commercial centers, the Bay Area communities became part of a principal commercial corridor between the cities.

Despite being seen by some as a sleepy region of the Houston metro area, the area in fact has become a world leader in both manned space exploration and the petrochemical industry.Cronkite (2002), p. 141.

Antrobus (2005), p. 167.


Weisman (2008), p. 166,
"The industrial megaplex that begins on the east side of Houston and continues uninterrupted to the Gulf of Mexico, 50 miles away, is the largest concentration of petroleum refineries, petrochemical companies, and storage structures on Earth."

The landscape around the bay features a mix of swamps, beaches, industrial facilities, tourist attractions, and historic sites. The area's developing population is ethnically diverse with a growing international community. The communities host cultural events ranging from ballet and musical theater to fairs and rodeos. The bay itself supports a commercial fishing industry and features one of the highest concentrations of marinas in the nation. On land the area holds numerous historic sites such as the San Jacinto Monumentmarker, and many parks such as the Armand Bayou Nature Center.


Map of the Bay Area.

The shores of Galveston Bay are home to many different municipalities and communities. The region is part of the larger Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown Metropolitan Area. Though the term Bay Area in its broadest sense refers to all communities near the shoreline, some sources, such as the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership (BAHEP), use more limited definitions, often referring more specifically to the clusters of communities nearest to Houston.Galveston Bay Estuary Program (2002), Ch. 3


The following communities lie on the shores of Galveston Bay (excluding those along the Gulf of Mexicomarker):
Anahuacmarker, Bacliffmarker, Baytownmarker, Beach Citymarker, Kemahmarker, La Portemarker, Morgan's Pointmarker, Seabrookmarker, Shoreacresmarker, Pasadena, Texas Citymarker

The BAHEP and the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce (CLACC) include the following additional communities in their membership:

Clear Lake superneighborhood of Houston (which includes Clear Lake City and JSCmarker), Clear Lake Shoresmarker, Deer Parkmarker, Dickinsonmarker, El Lagomarker, Friendswoodmarker, League Citymarker, Nassau Baymarker, Taylor Lake Villagemarker, Webstermarker

Some additional communities such as La Marquemarker, adjacent to Texas City, are treated as bayside communities by some sources.


The Bay Area can be sub-divided based on the histories and economic connections of the different communities.

  • The Pasadena–Baytown area, which straddles the Houston Ship Channelmarker, has since the mid 1900s been defined by the heavy industry along its shores.Barrington (2008), pp. 219–224.

    The two towns have distinct histories with Baytown having become tied to the oil industry earlier and Pasadena having a longer history tied to ranching and agriculture before petrochemicals came to dominate. But in modern times their fortunes have been closely tied by their cores of heavy industry.

  • The Clear Lake Area includes numerous communities and municipalities surrounding Clear Lakemarker between Pasadena, Houston, and the bay.Blackburn (2004), p. 59.

    Barrington (2008), p. 225–235.

    This area largely owes its recent growth and prosperity directly and indirectly to the Johnson Space Centermarker and has been traditionally characterized by a large white collar workforce and its prolific middle- and upper-middle-class neighborhoods.Kearney (2008), p. 223.

    The area is sometimes seen as the heart of the Bay Area in spite of the relative youth of its history.

  • The Texas City area includes Texas City and La Marque and surrounding communities.Chang 2006, p.192.

    Until recently this area and Galveston together were treated by the federal government as a metro area distinct from Houston. The area's prosperity revolves to a great degree around the Port of Texas City and the heavy industry around it.

  • The bayside area of Chambers County encompasses the shoreline on the northeast side of the bay including Anahuacmarker. Some of the area remains semi-rural and oriented to agriculture and commercial fishing but petroleum and chemical processing are significant industries as well.Barrington (2008), p. 210–212.

    Urban development is more limited giving the area a more small-town and rural atmosphere. This area's history is somewhat distinct from the other areas around the bay as it is not part of the once crucial commercial corridor between Galveston and Houston.


Spain, Mexico, and the Republic of Texas

The Battle of San Jacinto-1895 painting by Henry Arthur McArdle

Prior to European settlement the area around Galveston Bay was settled by the Karankawa and Atakapan tribes, who lived throughout the Gulf coast region. Spanish explorers such as the Rivas-Iriarte expedition and José Antonio de Evia charter the bay and gave it its name. Texas State Historical Association.

Texas State Historical Association. The significant settlement was established in 1816 by the pirate Louis-Michel Aury who was soon succeeded by the pirate Jean Lafitte. Lafitte transformed Galveston and the bay into a pirate kingdom (notably his gang is known to have made a hide-out on the shores of Clear Lakemarker).Chang (2006), p. 187.

Kearney (2008), p. 177.
In 1821, however, the United States Navy ousted the pirate and the colony was largely abandoned.

Following its declaration of independence from Spain the new nation of Mexicomarker moved to colonize its northern territory of Texas by offering land grants to settlers both from within Mexico and from the nearby United States. To spur trade the Port of Galveston was established in 1825 and a permanent settlement created on the island. A few small settlements such as Lynchburgmarker and San Jacinto were gradually established around the bay and in 1830 Mexican authorities created a customs and garrison post at Anahuacmarker commanded by Juan Davis Bradburn. Conflicts between Bradburn and the settlers in the region led to the Anahuac Disturbances, a prelude to the larger Texas rebellion that was to come. Following a coup in the Mexican government many freedoms previously enjoyed by the Texans were revoked causing Texas to revolt and declare its independence in 1835. Following a number of battles the Texas army, under the leadership of General Sam Houston, finally defeated the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacintomarker, near modern Pasadena.

The new Republic of Texas grew rapidly. The shores of the bay were initially mostly home to farms and ranches such as the famed Allen Ranchmarker. New communities such as Goose Creek (modern Baytown) were established.

U.S. annexation

Texas succeeded in its bid to join the United States in 1845 which helped launch the Mexican-American War. Texas' annexation brought more people to Texas and ranching interests around the bay began to grow. Throughout the 19th century Galveston remained Texas' dominant metropolis and the communities around the bay were strongly tied economically and culturally to the city though, as Houston began to develop, so did the Bay Area's ties to it. The construction of the Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railroad further spurred growth in the area.

During the American Civil War, during which Texas seceded from the United States, the area served a limited role in the conflict as new fortifications like Fort Chambers, near Anahuac, were constructed to ward off a mainland invasion by Union forces and to protect supply routes to and from Galveston. The Bay Area sat in the middle of the conflict as the most important battles in Texas occurred at Galveston with the conflict moving through the area on to Harrisburg and Houston after Galveston's fall.

In the aftermath of the war the Texas economy declined for a period. Nevertheless ranching interests became major economic drivers in the area spawning many other economic enterprises such as hide processing plants and shipping concerns. The success of these enterprises and the growth of Galveston as one of the prime commercial centers in the South and Southwest helped promote the construction of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway; and the La Porte, Houston and Northern Railroad through the area over the course of the 19th century. These railroads running along the southwest shore of the bay would spawn new communities such as Clear Creek (League City), Webster, and later Texas City. Texas State History Association.

 Texas State History Association. Some of these new communities would develop initially as stop-over points for travelers on the rail lines. Toward the end of the century, as ranching's profitability declined, many communities turned increasingly to agriculture. The farming community of Pasadenamarker was established during this time.

The Galveston Hurricane of 1900marker devastated the city of Galveston and heavily damaged communities around the bay (according to some estimates the Bay Area death toll may have been as high as 2000). Bridges between Galveston and the mainland were destroyed. Communities along the shoreline declined for some time as economic growth moved inland and Houston became the dominant economic center in the region. The region received a population boost from some Galveston refugees who relocated to the mainland following the catastrophy.

20th century

The sparsely populated Bay Area transformed during the 20th century. Following the hurricane, donations by the newly established Red Crossmarker helped revive area farming communities. The newly established community of Texas City opened its port and railroad junctions shipping cotton and grain. Commercial fishing, particularly for oysters and shrimp, grew as a significant area industry.

In 1908 the Bay Area had its first large oil strike at Goose Creek launching the oil boom in the Bay Area. In 1915 the Goose Creek Oil Field opened the first offshore oil drilling site in the state and soon after refineries opened in Texas City, Baytown and Pasadena. The Humble Oil refinery in Baytown became the largest in the Houston area. The wealth brought on by the boom transformed the region and population surged. Texas State Historical Association.

Texas State History Association. Manufacturing and refining expanded rapidly. During the Roaring 20s, tourism and resort communities developed around Clear Lake and the bay shoreline in communities such as Morgan's Pointmarker, Seabrookmarker, Kemahmarker.Kearney (2008), pp. 177-178.

Fox (2007), p. 212.

The World Wars created new manufacturing opportunities for factories around the bay and the area's population grew even faster than Houston.Stephens (1997), p. 9.

Ellington Air Force Basemarker was built becoming a major air field and flight training center during the wars.

After the war area economic diversification brought on by the war effort helped in the transition to a peacetime economy. NASAmarker's Johnson Space Centermarker was established in 1963 helping to spur explosive growth in the mid 20th century, especially the 1970s and 80s. The remainder of the communities on the southwestern shore urbanized and development connected the area to Houston. Tourism and recreation re-emerged and blossomed particularly around the Clear Lake area and the nearby shoreline.Roddy (2008), p. 265.

Barrington (2008), p. 266.

Antrobus (2005), p. 57.

Hurricane Ike struck the Bay Area in 2008 causing substantial damage both environmentally and economically, the most destructive event since 1900. a proposal to build a levee system, the Ike Dike, to protect the bay is under discussion.


A simulated-color image of Galveston Bay

The Galveston Bay Area is located on the gulf coastal plain, and its vegetation is classified as temperate grassland and marshes. The municipalities have been built on reclaimed marshes, swamps, and prairies, which are all still visible in undeveloped areas.Blackburn (2004), p. 40."The acreage of swamps and bottomlands ... found in the Galveston Bay system ... [is] about 36,000 acres..."

Eubanks (2006), p. 10.

Flatness of the local terrain and proximity to the Bay and the Gulfmarker have made flooding a recurring problem for the area.
The region once relied on groundwater for its needs, but land subsidence has forced much of the region to turn to ground-level water sources.


The land beneath the Bay Area consists of layers of sand and clay to great depths. These layers were created by millennia of river-borne sediments which gradually incoporated plant and animal matter creating the petroleum deposits for which the Gulf Coastmarker is known.

The region has numerous faults, many considered active, but none has produced significant earthquakes in recorded history. These faults tend to move at a smooth rate in what is termed "fault creep," which reduces the risk of an earthquake.

Bay and coastline

Galveston Bay is an estuary along the Texas Gulf Coast. The bay as a whole is composed of four major sub-bays: Galveston Bay proper, Trinity Bay, East Bay, and West Bay. Other smaller bays and lakes connecting to this complex of waterways in the Bay Area include San Jacinto Bay, Burnet Bay, Scott Bay, Crystal Bay, Goose Lake, Clear Lake, Dickinson Bay, and Moses Lake.

Galveston Bay is mostly shallow with an average depth of 7–9 feet. It is fed by the Trinity Rivermarker and the San Jacinto River, numerous local bayous and incoming tides from the Gulf of Mexicomarker. This unique and complex mixing of waters from different sources supports many types of marine life including crabs, shrimp, oysters, and many varieties of fish thereby supporting a substantial fishing industry. Additionally the system of bayous, rivers, and marshes that ring the Bay support their own ecosystems allowing for diverse wildlife and enabling freshwater farming of crawfish. The areas near the bay shore in fact have a higher diversity of habitats than the nearby Gulf coast.

The bay receives the fourth highest level of toxic chemicals in the state from bayside industrial discharge, in addition to pollutants washing in from the Houston Ship Channel. Although contaminants from the major industrial complexes along the bay contribute substantially to bay pollution, most is the result of storm run-off from various commercial, agricultural, and residential sources. Environmental News: Galveston Bay, Citizen's Environmental Coalition, retrieved 6 Sept. 2009

Contaminated storm water runoff, or nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, remains the top water quality problem facing Galveston Bay. NPS pollution is transported to our waterways via rainfall runoff from diffuse, landbased sources such as businesses, industries, farms, roads, parking lots, septic tanks, marinas, and residential yards. In recent decades, conservation efforts have been enacted which have improved water quality in the bay.


The Bay Area's climate is classified as humid subtropical (Cfa in Köppen climate classification system). Spring supercell thunderstorms sometimes create tornados (but not to the extent found in tornado alley).

Prevailing winds from the south and southeast bring heat from the deserts of Mexicomarker and moisture from the Gulf of Mexicomarker.

Melosi (2007), p. 13.

Summer temperatures regularly exceed 90 °F (32 °C).

The area's proximity to the bay and the winds that it generates moderate the area's temperatures and ease the effects of the humidity creating a more pleasant climate than inland communities like Houston (e.g. the average July high in Texas City is 89 °F with 9.8 mph winds vs. 94 °F with 6.7 mph winds in Houston).Winters in the area are temperate with typical January highs above 60 °F (15 °C) and lows are near 40 °F (5 °C). Snowfall is rare. Annual rainfall averages can range from 40  to 50 inches depending on the community.

Excessive ozone levels can occur due to of industrial activities; nearby Houston is ranked among the most ozone-polluted cities in the United States. The industries located along the ship channel are a major cause of the pollution.

Hurricanes are a substantial concern during the fall season. Though Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsulamarker provide some shielding, the Bay Area still faces more danger than Houston and other inland communities, particularly because of storm surge.


The Bay Area has a diverse economy with much of it built around aerospace, petrochemical, and high tech industries.

Chang (2006), p. 185. In 2005, the median household income for the Clear Lake area was $62,061 compared to $50,868 for the Houston area as whole and $45,472 for all of Texas.


The Bay Area's four major employment sectors are aerospace, petrochemicals and chemical processing, high-tech (software, biotechnology, electronics, etc.), and tourism. Most other employment in the region is supported by these industries although some smaller, independent industries exist as well.

The most widespread economic activities in the area revolve around petroleum and petrochemicals, largely centered in Baytown, Pasadena, and Texas City. These industries in Houston and the Bay Area account for nearly half of the U.S. petrochemical manufacturing and approximately one third of the U.S. petroleum refining capacity. The Bay Area is home to the largest refineries and petrochemical complexes in the Greater Houston area and to the majority of the processing capacity.

NASAmarker's Johnson Space Centermarker (JSC) is an important pillar of the Bay Area economy. Businesses around this core include a broad range of high-tech development enterprises from aerospace engineering to software and electronics.

The tourism industry attracts millions of visitors each year with attractions ranging from Space Center Houstonmarker to the bay itself.

Ecotourism, in particular, is a growing sector with destinations such as the Armand Bayou Nature Center.White (2003), p. 46.

Biotechnology, which already employs nearly 3000 workers in the area, is a smaller but growing industry in the area enabled in large part by JSC and the Texas Medical Centermarker in Houston. Commercial fishing is one the older industries in the region and is still a significant economic sector.

Galveston Bay is the second most productive estuary in the nation, producing more seafood than any other bay—trailing only Chesapeake Bay, which is over six times Galveston Bay’s size!

Some outlying areas around the bay remain semi-rural. Cattle ranching and agriculture remain staples of some local economies as well as shrimp fishing and oyster farming.

Economic hubs

Major Bay Area economic hubs include the following:
  • Bayport Industrial District - A large complex of chemical processing facilities comprising 57 companies with a business impact of over $829 million.

  • Johnson Space Center - The central facility of NASAmarker, this site manages more than $4 billion annually in aerospace contracts, and together with numerous private companies involved in space programs and related ventures gives the Bay Area one of the highest concentrations of aerospace businesses and expertise in the nation. Additionally, JSC's research in bioastronautics has helped create a growing biotechnology industry in the area. The Galveston Bay area is home to 92% of the Houston-Galveston area aerospace jobs.
  • ExxonMobil Baytown Complex — One of the world's largest petrochemical industrial complexes this complex is Baytown's largest employer and one of the largest in the area. For its part the Baytown Refinerymarker located on this site is the largest refinery in the United States and is capable of processing 572,000 barrels of oil per day.
  • Texas City Industrial Complex — This petrochemical complex includes the Texas City Refinery, the state's second largest.
  • Ellington Airport - This mixed-use (military-civilian) airport is part of the Houston Airport System and home to the 147th Reconnaissance Wing of the Texas Air National Guard. The airfield has traditionally been a major contributor to the local economy though government realignments have scaled back the base's military role through the years.


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Home to a diverse set of communities, the Bay Area has a demographic distribution that varies greatly among these individual communities. Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the City of Houston (2008, where available, and 2000 otherwise), the area demographic statistics are as follows (see table for more details). The total population was approximately 566,850. The median household income was $56,827. The white population was 72.9%, the African American population was 8.3%, and the Asian population was 3.9%.

The most populous community in the region is Pasadena (though Houston is a much larger city the portion within this region is smaller than Pasadena). Taylor Lake Village has (by far) the highest median household income; and Bacliff and San Leon have the lowest. Texas City and La Marque have the largest African-American populations. La Porte and the Clear Lake area of Houston have the largest Asian populations.


Colleges and universities

The Bay Area contains several institutions of higher education.Chang (2006), pp. 182, 188.
 The largest is the University of Houston–Clear Lakemarker (UHCL) located adjacent to Clear Lake City. UHCL is distinct and separate from the University of Houstonmarker (UH) itself, but is part of the larger University of Houston Systemmarker. The university offers a wide spectrum of programs including what it touts as the most complete biotechnology graduate programs in the state.

Texas Chiropractic Collegein Pasadena, one of only two schools of chiropracticsin Texas and one of a handful in the nation, provides training for students from around the state. Several community colleges serve communities in the area as well, including San Jacinto College, College of the Mainland, Lee College, and Houston Community College.

Primary and secondary schools

The Bay Area covers multiple municipalities with multiple school districts. Most of the communities in the Clear Lake Area are served by Clear Creek Independent School Districtthough some nearby areas are served by Dickinson Independent School Districtand Houston Independent School District. Communities in the Pasadena/Baytown area are served by Deer Park Independent School District, Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District, La Porte Independent School District, and Pasadena Independent School District. The Texas City area is served by La Marque Independent School Districtand Texas City Independent School District. The communities in Chambers County near Anahuac are served by Anahuac Independent School District.


The Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership (BayTran) coordinates planning for the transportation needs of the Bay Area. Collaborative efforts by the local communities have helped push forward development of regional infrastructure.

Ground transportation

The Bay Area's two interstate freewaysact as linear backbonesconnecting the communities on either side of the ship channel. The few other freewaysin the region provide access into the centers of heavy industry within the region. Connectivity within other communities mostly relies on uncontrolled, surface highways.

Interstate 45(the Gulf Freeway) is the major freeway for the core areas of the Bay Area linking them with Houston and Galveston. Highway 146(Bayport Blvd.) is a coastal highway linking the waterfronts of the communities. The Gulf Freeway and Bayport Blvd. together are the main arteries linking the core communities, though Highway 225, East Beltway 8, Highway 3and others are important as well. The Fred Hartman Bridge on Highway 146 crosses the ship channel connecting Baytown and Pasadena, while the Galveston Causewaymarker on the Gulf Freeway crosses the bay connecting Texas City and Galveston Islandmarker.

In the outlying north Bay Area, Interstate 10links Anahuacand other communities nearby connecting them to Houston and the rest of the Bay Area. Highway 124provides access to the Bolivar Peninsula.

The Houston Metrobus system provides service to the southeast Houston and Pasadena connecting the communities with central Houston. The remaining communities in the Bay Area communities are not served by mass transit.

Air travel

Houston Hobby Airportmarker (HOU) is the nearest airport providing regular domestic service.It is in southeast Houston near the Bay Area and provides service to U.S. destinations. International service is provided by Bush Intercontinental Airportmarker (IAH) in north Houston.

Ellington Airport, the other branch of the Houston Airport System(HAS), is a mixed-use airport. It acts as a reliever airport for Hobby, in addition to use by NASAmarker, the military, and public aviation.The system has performed significant expansion of the airport in recent years expecting significant growth in its usage in coming years.

La Porte Municipal Airport in Pasadena and Chambers County Airportmarker near Anahuac provide public air access to their respective communities.


Though the dominant shipping points in southeast Texas are at the Port of Houston and the Houston Ship Channelmarker, important shipping points exist in the Bay Area as well.For seagoing shipping the Pasadena Bayport terminal (administered by the Port of Houston Authority), the Port of Baytown, and the Port of Texas City are the major freight shipping points. For railway shipping the Union-Pacific Webster station, and Union-Pacific Deer Park station, the Union-Pacific Baytown station, the Texas City Terminal Railway Company, are major access points.

Healthcare and medicine

The Bay Area Houston Healthcare Network (BAHHN) is a collaboration of health care providers coordinating health care services in the core of the Bay Area and Galveston. The hubsof the network as identified by BAHHN are the following:

, , , , , , , , , .

Numerous other health care facilities exist in the region as well. Notable facilities outside the area covered by BAHHN include San Jacinto Methodist Hospital (Baytown) and Mainland Medical Center (Texas City).


The Bay Area is a racially and ethnically diverseregion.
The industrial centers of Pasadena and Baytown in particular have large international communities.

Many annual events take place in the Bay Area. The Strawberry Festival in Pasadena celebrates the role the iconic fruit played in rescuing the town's economy following the 1900 Hurricanemarker.The Blessing of the Fleet boat paradein Kemah is an annual event that celebrates Kemah's history as a shrimpfishing town. The Gulf Coast Film Festivalannually showcases independent films from local, regional and international artists in various categories ranging from short films to documentaries. Multicultural events such as the Grito Fest (Baytown) celebrate the area's diversity. Other annual events include the Wings over Houston Air Fest (Ellington Field), the Music Fest by the Bay (Texas City), the Ballunar Festival, the Oak Tree Festival (League City), and the South Shore Dockside Food & Wine Festival (League City).
Barrington (2008), p. 271.
And, of course, in the spirit of the state to which the area belongs, the annual Pasadena Livestock Show and Rodeo features traditional rodeoevents for area spectators.

Arts and theatre

The Bay Area has a substantial community of artists and artistic programs. The Bay Area Houston Ballet and Theatregroup and the League City Ballet offer performances in genres ranging from balletto American musicals. The Clear Lake Symphony, the Pasadena Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Baytown Symphony Orchestra offer multiple performances each year ranging from classical to "pops" performances.Kearney (2008), p. 76.

Other arts and theatre programs exist in the area as well. The Arts Alliance at Clear Lake, a group of 50 area arts organizations, regularly schedules arts exibihits, musical performances, and other arts programs. Community theatergroups such as the Pasadena Little Theatre, the Clear Creek Country Theatre (Nassau Bay), the Harbour Playhouse (Dickinson), and the Baytown Little Theater offer a variety of regularly scheduled performances.

Regular free concerts and other cultural events take place in venues such as the Pasadena Fairgrounds and League Park Plaza (League City).

Parks and landmarks

The Bay Area contains parks and landmarks. One of the oldest landmarks is the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Sitemarker in La Porte which marks the site of the Battle of San Jacinto and holds the San Jacinto Monument and the Battleship Texasmarker.Nearby, the Sterling Mansion, a former Governor's residence, at Morgan's Point marks the edge of the former Gold Coastof Texas.

The Armand Bayou Nature Center in Pasadena is the largest urban wilderness preservein the nation. It features a boardwalkthrough the marshes, numerous nature trails, and boat tours offering views of natural habitatsfor animals ranging from bisonto seagullsto butterflies. The Baytown Nature Center, located on two peninsulas along the ship channel, and the Texas City Prairie Preserve, located along Moses Lakemarker and the bay, are largely undeveloped nature preserves with views of wetlands and coastal wildlife in addition to a variety of park facilities.The Seabrook Trail System which includes Robinson and Pine Gullymarker Parks offers primitive access to natural habitats for numerous species.These sites are all part of the larger Great Texas Coastal Birding Trailmarker.

Further from the core on the northeast side of the bay sits the Anahuac National Wildlife Refugemarker, a 34,000-acre federal nature preserve.The coastal habitats in the park offer opportunities for viewing species ranging from the American Alligatorand Bobcatto bird species such as the Fulvous Whistling-Duckand the Yellow Rail.

Other major area parks include Clear Creek Nature Park (League City), Chandler Arboretum (Baytown), Challenger 7 Memorial Park (Webster), and Sylvan Beach Park (La Porte).

Urban attractions

Space Center Houstonmarker is the tourist arm of the Johnson Space Centermarker and one of the most visited tourist attractions in Texas.Visitors can tour the Space Center grounds, view space capsules and artifacts, and find numerous educational activities including an IMAX theater.

The Kemah Boardwalkmarker is a waterfront attraction featuring a variety of rides, restaurants, shops, and other entertainment venues.It is next to the Kemah Marina and hosts annual events such as the Boardwalk Wine Festival.

The Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center in Baytown offers indoor and outdoor educational exhibits featuring wetlands wildlife and habitats. The exhibits range from aquariums to science labs. The site also includes hiking trails through primitive habitats.

Museums in the area include the San Jacinto Museum of Historymarker, the Bay Area Museum (Seabrookmarker), the Pasadena Historical Museum, the West Bay Common School Museum (League City), the Baytown Historical Museum, the Texas City Museum, the Buttler Longhorn Museum (League City) and the Dickinson Railroad Museum.

Farmers markets in the area, including the Nassau Bay Farmers Market and the Farmers Market at Clear Lake Shoresmarker, provide opportunities for area residents to connect with local growers, producers, and other businesses.

Historic districtssuch as the Goose Creek Historic District (Baytown), the Morgan's Point Historic District, and the League City Historic District are available providing views of early area architecture in addition to unique shopping venues.

The area contains many marinas for boating and fishing enthusiasts such the Bayland Park Marina (Baytown) and the Watergate Yachting Center (Clear Lake Shores).Roddy (2008), p. 265.
Barrington (2008), p. 266.
Antrobus (2005), p. 57.The shoreline of Clear Lake itself has the greatest concentration of recreational boats in Texas and ranks third nationwide (Watergate even claims to be the nation's largest).


The Bay Area Torosare the area's minor-league baseballteam. The Toros play their home games at Robinson Stadiumin Texas City. The Houston Raceway Park in Baytown holds regular drag racingand speedway motorsport events through the year. The park has a seating capacity of 30,000 with VIP suites.

The Galveston Bay Cruising Association holds regular regattaevents on the bay such as the Bay Cup (Lakewood Yacht Club, Seabrook) and the Performance Cup. The 2009 season had 22 events throughout the year offering entertainment for sportsmen and spectators. The Gulf Greyhound Park in LaMarque is a stadium complex offering dog racing exhibitions. The park is the largest of its kind and features the state's largest restaurant among its amenities.


Major daily newspapers serving the area include the Galveston County Daily News, the Baytown Sun, and the Houston Chronicle.Chang (2006), pp. 182, 185.
Several smaller local newspapers serving the communities are available including the Bay Area Citizen, the Pasadena Citizen, and the Deer Park Progress.Chang (2006), pp. 182, 185, 188, 193.
Bay Area Houston Magazine, an online publication, provides area interest stories and information.Chang (2006), pp. 182, 185, 188.

The area receives many radio stations including some licensed within the area, such as KKBQ (country, Pasadena), KWWJ (gospel, Baytown), and KFTGmarker and KLVL (Spanish religious, Pasadena).

Among the many television stations received in the area stations licensed in the area include KAZHmarker (TuVisión, Spanish language, Baytown).

See also


  1. Chang (2006), p. 185.
  2. Texas State Historical Association.
  3. Melosi (2007), p. 117.
  4. Texas State History Association.
  5. Texas State Historical Association.
  6. Texas State Historical Association.
  7. Galveston Bay Estuary Program (2002), p. 27.
  8. Henson (1982), p. 49.
  9. Henson (1982), p. 51.
  10. Galveston Bay Estuary Program (2002), p. 27–28.
  11. Texas State Historical Association.
  12. Texas State Historical Association.
  13. Texas State Historical Association.
  14. Texas State Historical Association.
  15. Johnston (1991), pp. 61–68.
  16. Munsart (1997), p. 119.
  17. Texas State History Association.
  18. Galveston Bay Estuary Program (2002), p. 37.
  19. Texas State Historical Association.
  20. Texas State History Association.
  21. Hinton (2002), p. 134.
  22. Ramos (2004), p. 154.
  23. Texas State History Association.
  24. Texas State Historical Association.
  25. TRESAUGUE, MATTHEW: The state of the bay, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 22 Aug 2009
  26. Flood Forecasting for the Buffalo Bayou Using CRWR-PrePro and HEC-HMS. Center for Research in Water Resources, The University of Texas at Austin Retrieved on 2007-01-10.
  27. . United States Geological Survey. Retrieved on 2007-01-11.
  28. Geography, Galveston Bay Estuary Program, retrieved 3 Sept 2009
  29. Melosi (2007), p. 12.
  30. Savitz, Jacqueline D.; Campbell, Christopher; Wiles, Richard; Hartmann, Carolyn: Dishonorable Discharge: Toxic Pollution of Texas Waters, Environmental Working Group, page 12
  31. Cairns (1990), p. 215–216.
  32. " State of the Air 2005, National and Regional Analysis", American Lung Association, 2005-03-25. Retrieved on 2006-02-17.
  33. " Summary of the Issues", Citizens League for Environmental Action Now , 2004-08-01. Retrieved on 2006-02-17.
  34. Demographic Detail Summary Report, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, retrieved 3 Sept 2009
  35. Casselman, Ben: Planning the 'Ike Dike' Defense, Wall Street Journal, 4 June 2009
  36. Lewis (2006), pp. 304–305.
  37. Houston super-neighborhood #81; includes Houston portion of Clear Lake City, Johnson Space Center, and nearby areas
  38. Peterson's (2007), p. 53.
  39. Chang (2006), pp. 182, 185, 188, 193.
  40. Chang (2006), pp. 182, 193.
  41. Kearney (2005), p. 151.
  42. Barrington (2008), p. 260.
  43. Barrington (2008), p. 265.
  44. Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre, retrieved 5 Sept. 2009
  45. Come See What's Behind the Blue Doors, The Arts Alliance at Clear Lake, retrieved 5 Sept. 2009
  46. Kearney (2008), p. 177–178.
  47. Wauer (1998), p. 334.
  48. Antrobus (2005), p. 137.
  49. Campbell (2004), p. 663.
  50. Baird (2005), p. 188-189.
  51. Naylor (2006), p. 42.
  52. Texas State History Association.
  53. Kearney (2006), p. 227.
  54. Antrobus (2005), p. 57.
  55. Baird (2005), p. 196.


External links

Community Total



% White % African

% Asian
Anahuac 2210 $40,924 68.3% 20.2% 0.7%
Bacliff 6962 $32,188 97.8% 1.8% 3.0%
Baytown 78,311 $48,398 64.1% 17.0% 2.0%
Beach City 1645 $70,104 96.0% 1.6% 0.0%
Clear Lake-Houston 43,141 $68,815 77.8% 4.7% 11.4%
Clear Lake Shores 1205 $67,500 94.9% 3.3% 7.5%
Deer Park 28,520 $61,334 90.0% 1.3% 1.3%
Dickinson 17,093 $41,984 72.3% 10.5% 1.2%
El Lago 3075 $66,223 94.5% 7.8% 1.4%
Friendswood 38,327 $91,887 86.0% 1.9% 6.4%
Kemah 2330 $51,620 75.4% 3.8% 3.5%
La Marque 13,682 $34,841 55.8% 34.7% 0.5%
La Porte 31,880 $55,810 81.4% 6.3% 11.3%
League City 70,657 $80,432 82.6% 6.5% 5.0%
Morgan's Point 332 $57,917 88.7% 4.5% 0%
Nassau Bay 4170 $57,353 89.6% 1.9% 3.9%
Pasadena 151,960 $46,760 64.1% 1.8% 2.0%
San Leon 4365 $31,687 80.4% 0.8% 7.6%
Seabrook 9443 $54,175 88.9% 2.1% 3.3%
Taylor Lake Village 3694 $99,535 92.4% 2.7% 2.1%
Texas City 44,765 $43,078 62.4% 28.2% 1.1%
Webster 9083 $42,385 64.9% 9.0% 5.7%
Total 566,850 $56,827 72.9% 8.3% 3.9%

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