The Gulf Coast stretches along the Gulf of Mexico for hundreds of miles. Cities such as Corpus Christi, Galveston, and Houston are in the Gulf Coast region.
Topography and Characteristics
Major Rivers: San Jacinto, Trinity, Brazos, Nueces, San
Major Aquifer: Gulf Coast, Carrizo-Wilcox
Size: 21,000 sq mi.
The Gulf Coast is a nearly level, slowly-drained plain. It is dissected by streams and rivers flowing into the Gulf of Mexico. Here you can find: barrier islands along the coast; salt grass marshes surrounding its bays and estuaries; a few remaining patches of tallgrass prairies; oak mottes scattered along the coast; and tall woodlands in the river bottomlands. Soils are acidic sands and sandy loams, with clay soils occurring primarily in the river bottoms.
Major Cities / Rainfall / Elevation
Regional Average Rainfall - Mid-North: 40-60 in./yr
Regional Average Net Evaporation rate: 16-28 inches
Data source: National Climate Datat Center, U.S. Dept of Commerce.
51.73 in. /
Baytown - 53.75 in. / 34 ft.
Beaumont - 57.38 in. / 27 ft.
Corpus Christi - 32.26 in. / 41 ft.
Galveston - 43.84 in. / 10 ft.
Houston - 47.84 in. / 95 ft.
Port Arthur - 59.89 in. / 16 ft.
Port Isabel - 28.56 in. / 17 ft.
Raymondville - 27.97 in. / 31 ft.
Sugarland - 49.34 in. / 82 ft.
Victoria - 40.10 in. / 115 ft.
Wharton - 45.62 in. / 111 ft.
Southern live oak
Learn more on our Wildscapes page: Plant Guidance for Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes
Slender rush pea/South Texas ambrosia
Learn more about Endangered and Threatened Plants.
Marsh rice rat
Diamond back terrapin
Spotted sea trout
Off shore fishes:
Learn more about these animals on our Wildlife Fact Sheets.
Rare Animals & Habitats
Attwater's prairie chicken: Tall grass coastal
Eastern brown pelican: Offshore islands, spoil islands, mudbanks
Eskimo curlew: Migrates through the grasslands from the Arctic tundra to Pampas grasslands of Argentina
Piping plover: Winters along Gulf Coast; tidal mud flats, sandflats, or algal flats
Whooping crane: Winters on Texas Gulf Coast; marshes and sandflats of Aransas
Learn more about Endangered and Threatened Species.