The longest Stretch of Undeveloped Barrier Island in The World, Rich in Natural and Cultural History
With 70 miles of protected coastline, including a coastal prairie, a dynamic dune system, wind tidal flats teeming with life. A sanctuary and nesting grounds for the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle. A haven for 380 species of birds, a rich cultural history including the 1554 Spanish shipwrecks; and the Laguna Madre, one of the few hypersaline lagoon environments left in the world. For almost its entire existence, Padre Island has remained undeveloped wilderness. Because the National Seashore endeavors to preserve Padre Island in its natural state, visiting the island is very much like stepping back into the past. With few exceptions, visitors can now see Padre Island as it has existed throughout most of its history and how it is described in the few extant descriptions by the early explorers.
Situated along the Central Flyway, Padre Island is a globally important area for over 380 migratory, overwintering, and resident bird species (nearly half of all bird species documented in North America). Thirteen of these species are considered species of concern, threatened, or endangered.
The dunes shown above is how Padre Island probably appeared to Native Americans and early European settlers hundreds of years ago.
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