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Coastal Zone

Coastal Zone

The Texas Coastal Zone is defined in the Bureau of Economic Geology's Environmental Geologic Atlas series as the area of land "from the inner Continental Shelf to about 40 miles inland" which includes "all estuaries and tidally influenced streams and bounding wetlands". Twenty-five percent of the population and 33% of the economic resources of the state are located along the approximately 360 miles of the Texas coast.

This site provides Texas coastal information on selected books, monographs, reports, graduate study, and maps that are available at the Walter Geology Library and other UT Libraries. This bibliography does not cite work that appears in journals, book chapters, or conference proceedings. Besides emphasis on the Texas Coastal Zone, the criteria for selection of materials for this site is the research dealing with surface processes of the coastal zone. Publications on subsurface formations and geologic processes or those that are associated with exploration for oil and gas are not included in this list. The documents featured in this bibliography are intended to assist in preliminary research for this region of Texas.

Recommended subject headings and keywords to use with "Texas":


  • coastal dunes or environment or sedimentation
  • estuaries
  • geomorphology
  • inner continental shelf
  • shorelines
  • swamps

Place names for bays or counties or islands

  • coastlines
  • estuarine environment or sedimentation
  • inlets
  • marshes
  • shore features
  • wetlands


Atlantic Hurricane Tracking Data
Storm tracks of Gulf and Atlantic coast hurricanes since 1886.

National Estuary Program
Outlines of activities at Corpus Christi Bay and Galveston Bay.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Links to the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center. Only have brief descriptions of the centers.

National Wildlife Refuges
Information on directions, primary wildlife, habitat, recreational opportunities, and regulations for use of the wildlife refuges in the state of Texas.

Rio Grande Coastal Impact Monitoring Program
Information on the Lower Rio Grande Valley and water and pollution related resources.

Texas General Land Office
(GLO) along with the School Land Board manages the coastal lands of the State of Texas.

Texas GIS Information
Links to a number of coastal sources.

Texas Parks and Wildlife
Information on state parks and other facilities near coastal communities.

Texas Secretary of State
Links to the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) which contains the text of the TAC for the Coastal Management Program and Coastal Management Program Boundary. The Texas Coastal Management Program aims to facilitate more effective use of public funds by the efficient management of coastal natural resource areas (CNRAs). This program guides the development, use, protection, and preservation of the CNRAs.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Texas Water Science Center.

Comprehensive information on case law affecting use of the lands along the Texas coast can be found at the Tarlton Law Library. Access to the Tarlton Law Library is restricted. Some suggested sources for preliminary research:

Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) Publications

By W.A. White, et al.
A detailed inventory of the sediments, geochemistry, benthic macroinvertebrates, and associated wetlands of the bays, estuaries, lagoons, and the inner continental shelf systems.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.