The Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce (RFCC) Bay Blazers and staff were joined by guests recently to celebrate a ribbon cutting for the North Harbor Wetlands Sanctuary Boardwalk, located at 12th Street and Highway 35 Business.
The North Harbor Wetlands Sanctuary is owned by the Aransas County Navigation District, leased to Aransas First. It is a prime example of a productive tidal wetland and is a breeding and feeding ground for a plethora of marine life and birds attracted to it.
The Sanctuary’s Boardwalk was first built in 2004 by Aransas First, a 501©3 non-profit corporation, organized in 2002 by local citizens dedicated to conservation, preservation, and education related to the unique ecosystem we stand on, the Live Oak Peninsula. The Boardwalk was partially destroyed by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The funding received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Texas Department of Emergency Management, and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers allowed Aransas First to rebuild an even larger and improved boardwalk for the education and enjoyment of visitors to this site.
The current boardwalk is 1200 feet long with three covered Kiosks and four rest areas. More than 200 bird species have been spotted here. There is educational signage depicting the geology of Aransas County, along with pictures of the Top 40 Birds on the kiosks.
Aransas First also manages Aransas Woods, over 100 acres with two large wetland ponds, for TxDOT, located on the east side of Highway 35 Bypass, about one-mile north of Highway 188, between Rockport and Aransas Pass. This is the largest naturally occurring freshwater wetland on the Live Oak Peninsula. Its collected waters seep underground eastward to the Estes Flats. With its trails in the Live Oak-Red Bay uplands and two shallow lakes, it is Texas Great Coastal Birding Trail #47. Visit it and compare the two types of wetlands and the surrounding habitat of our unique ecosystem.