Barrier Island I.D.


The student will be able to identify the five barrier islands of the Texas coast.


Coastal barriers protect nearly 2700 miles of our nation's shoreline from the punishing winds and waves of winter storms and hurricanes. These fragile islands, made of sand and shell, are found primarily from Maine to Texas on the Eastern and Gulf shores. The Florida Peninsula is surrounded by 731 miles of barrier islands, but Texas follows close behind with 350 miles of barrier beaches.

Five barrier islands fringe the Texas coast and Padre Island, at nearly 100 miles, is the longest in the world. Padre stretches north from the Rio Grande to just south of Corpus Christi where it meets Mustang Island. Even though Mustang is relatively short, its location just east of Corpus Christi causes it to protect Corpus Christi Bay from high storm tides.

Continuing our northward tour, we next encounter St. Joseph's and Matagora Islands. These two islands are not connected to the mainland by any new causeways and can only be accessed by boat. As the northernmost island on the coast, Galveston provides a sandy retreat for the citizens of Houston.

Refer to the descriptions above to identify the islands pictured.

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