Sand dunes–the “hills” of the coast–are one of the most recognizable features of the Gulf Coast. The sight of these sandy mounds and their plethora of native grasses and wildlife instantly evokes a sense of place and a feeling of peace. The dunes are a link to a natural paradise.
Aside from their beauty and significance to the observer, sand dunes are also critical to the ecology of Port Aransas. They form from a buildup of sand that blows in on coastal winds from the Gulf of Mexico. The dunes provide natural infrastructure to protect the island from geohazards, including extreme tidal changes, erosion, and storm surge.
The dunes also serve an important role as the habitat for a number of native plants and wildlife. Snakes, shorebirds, jack rabbits, gophers, squirrels, rats, opossums, raccoons, coyotes, and even the occasional white-tailed deer call the dunes home.
Visitors are advised to take extreme caution when entering the dunes. Children and pets should always be closely monitored. If wounded by a rattlesnake, call 911 or the Port Aransas EMS at (361) 749-4405.
Vehicles are prohibited from traveling on or parking on the sand dunes. Violators could be fined up to $200.00 under City of Port Aransas Code 1980, Ch. 6, § 2(K).
All dunes and vegetation are protected under the Texas Natural Resource Code § 63.091 and 31 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 15.