Park Phone issues
The visitor center main phone line and fax line are not working. To reach the park visitor center, call (361) 949-8069. Fax to (361) 949-7091, Attention: Visitor Center. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Bird Island Basin Campground rehabilitation starts August 18, 2014
The second part of a project to repair facilities and rebuild eroded shoreline at Bird Island Basin Campground begins August 18. Minor disruptions of activities in the immediate area may occur. None of the work should affect use of the boat ramp.
The Nineteenth Century
Photo courtesy of Matt Anderson (a descendant of Amos and Mary Lively).
During the nineteenth century, the island changed from an isolated wilderness to settled ranchland. The transition was mostly peaceful, with only one minor skirmish occuring on the island during the Civil War.
The nineteenth century also saw the appearance and then disppearance of several local industries that endeavored to make commercial use of the island's natural resources: primarily salt and birds. Another business the island saw come and go was the salvaging and selling of wrecked ships, jetsam, and other debris that washed onto the shoreline. This was known as the "wrecking industry".
Finally, during the times when epidemics (such as yellow fever) were common in the U.S., the island had a quarantine station operated by the city of Corpus Christi at what is now Packery Channel.
Did You Know?
Although Padre Nicolas Balli established the first permanent settlement on the island, the island was previously owned by his father and his grandfather, who obtained the original grant from the Spanish crown. More...