Date: 1/8/19 1:33 pm From: Alexander Lin-Moore via CTBirds <ctbirds...> Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Texas
First off, being raised in Houston I'm very glad to see that my home area is held in such high regard bird wise :) Many people have already mentioned some truly excellent birding spots in the region (Anahuac NWR, Galveston, High Island of course), and if anyone is interested in visiting and would like recommendations I'm more than happy to provide detailed info!
Regarding Paul's mention of the proposed coastal barrier around the mouth of Galveston Bay, it is indeed a proposed dike/development structure that would reach from Galveston up the coast to High Island, with the aim of protecting Galveston & Trinity Bays and the Port of Houston, the busiest international port in the country, from increasingly frequent and violent storms (no comment). Since the town and world-famous migrant traps of High Island are situated a little off the coast, it's unlikely that this proposed development would destroy the birding habitat there, but it is certainly an extremely serious concern for Bolivar Flats, one of the most important shorebird stopover sites in the Central Flyway. As of this week, the proposed "Ike Dike" is being met with a large amount of public disapproval, especially from local residents of Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula, and the public comment period for its proposed construction has been extended. Even the original designer of the structure, a professor at Texas A&M University, has said that the current design is severely flawed and should be reevaluated both to make it more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly. Hopefully this proposal will be reevaluated with local and environmental needs given priority. More information can be found here and in other Houston Chronicle articles: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Ike-Dike-creator-says-proposed-coastal-13507526.php
As it stands, Bolivar Flats remains one of the best shorebirding spots in the country, and I recommend that everyone birds it (and everywhere else along the east TX coast) as soon and as often as possible.