Sea Rim State Park redevelopment underway
Design work is underway to redevelop Sea Rim State Park whose facilities were damaged first by Hurricane Rita, rebuilt and
again destroyed in September 2008 by Hurricane Ike before the park could
According to park superintendent Tracy Ferguson, there is both
drive-on and pedestrian access to the beach. The ¾-mile Gambusia
Boardwalk also has been restored, and for the first time in park
history, seasonal equestrian use is being allowed from December through
“Even with limited facilities, it’s great to see the park open again
for public use,” Ferguson says. “If you’re looking for a primitive
escape along the gulf, you’ll find it on Sea Rim’s secluded five-mile
stretch of beach.”
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has developed a two-phase
master plan to redevelop the state park that the agency expects to begin
implementing next summer. Construction of some of the facilities is
expected to take a couple of years. The 81st Legislature provided $2
million for the recovery of Sea Rim State Park. So far, all storm debris
and destroyed facilities have been removed and the park has been
reopened on a limited basis.
All new park facilities, which will include a headquarters building
and a residence for park personnel, will be designed to meet state
building codes for hurricane resistance and conserve energy.
Though the park has limited services it is a great get away location
with five miles of Gulf Coast Beach access. The state park, which
currently offers only limited facilities such
as portable toilets and trash receptacles, is open for day use ($3) and
primitive camping ($10). Park fees are collected through a self-pay
The park was named for a portion of the Gulf of Mexico shoreline
where inland mud flats and tidal marshes meet the sea. The park
encompasses more than 4,000 acres of marshlands and more than five miles
of gulf shoreline. Highway 87 splits the park into the D. Roy
Harrington Beach Unit and the Marshlands Unit.
Phase I construction sets forth the construction of a boardwalk to
the beach, a maintenance building, park superintendent’s residence, two
public vault toilets, a limited potable water distribution system and a
wastewater collection and treatment system, according to Gary Kosut,
TPWD Infrastructure Division project manager for the Sea Rim
redevelopment. He says once work begins, it is expected to require nine
months to a year to complete.
In addition, the Texas Department of Transportation is slated to begin work at the park in 2012.
“The Texas Department of Transportation will reconstruct park roads
and parking lots for day-use visitors,” says Darrell Owens, the
Infrastructure Division’s TxDOT program manager. Roadway construction is
scheduled to begin in the late summer of 2012.”
The roadway system will include 15 pull-through RV camping sites with
electric, water and wastewater hookups. An unpaved equestrian unloading
area and trail to the beach also will be built.
Phase II of the redevelopment plan, which will provide for the
completed build-out of the park as detailed in the Sea Rim State Park
Redevelopment Master Plan, has not been funded. It calls for
construction of a headquarters building, camping area restroom with
showers, 10 tent platforms, a central water-wastewater facility, water
distribution system, a dune walkover, wildlife-viewing blind, equestrian
camping accessories and fish-cleaning shelter.
Sea Rim State Park, which opened to the public in 1977, has
traditionally drawn thousands of outdoor lovers, who come to fish,
sunbathe, paddle the marshlands, camp and observe the park’s great
diversity of birds and other wildlife. The park is located along the
Greater Texas Coastal Birding Trail and serves as a rest stop for
numerous species of migrating birds traversing the Central Flyway.
For more information about Sea Rim State Park, call park superintendent Tracy Ferguson at (409) 971-2559.