Water quality changes daily, like the weather! There are a few things to keep in mind when visiting Galveston beaches:
Seaweed – Seaweed is the amazing ocean vegetation that provides a habitat for a wide variety of marine life, both in the ocean and ashore. The amount of seaweed found washed ashore our beaches varies greatly, though early summer tends to be peak season. We love seeing an essential part of our ecosystem on the shore!
Tarballs– Tarballs are a normal part of beach life here in Texas. They’ve been washing ashore for hundreds of years and were even used by the Karankawa Indians to waterproof baskets and pottery. For more information and what to do if you notice an unusual number of tarballs washing ashore, check out NOAA.
Microbial Life – Microbes keep our oceans healthy and are always present in the water. For the most up-to-date water quality information, check GCHD’s water advisory page.
The Galveston County Health Department works diligently to keep the public informed about the safety of our beaches!
Sea Beans – Sea beans are parts of a category of plants called salicornia and grow salt marshes, beaches and in mangroves and are found in several oceans. One of their many nicknames is sea beans. There are so many varieties, it’s hard to describe them all. Some can be eaten (but we prefer that you don’t!) while others have unique shapes like hearts and hamburgers and can be polished and made into jewelry. Find out more about seabeans and their many uses here: http://www.seabean.com/what.asp and check out the photo gallery of sea beans on the: Texas Parks and Wildlife site.