From: TPWD, 2003; The Handbook of Texas Online, 2003.
Galveston Island is a sand-barrier island located between the southeast coast of Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. The island was probably first discovered by Europeans in 1518 and was often called by the Spaniards Snake Island or Isla de Culebras, as were several others of the Texas coastal islands, such as St. Joseph Island. Located on the island is the Galveston Island State Park, an 8.9 square km preserve which offers camp and trailer sites, fishing, swimming, and nature trails. The park was opened in 1970 and attracts thousands of visitors each year. It boasts the largest wetland restoration project ever undertaken in a Texas state park, the Galveston Wetlands Project.
Important habitats within Galveston Island include salt meadows, beach, dunes, wetlands and coastal prairies. The island is on a migratory flyway and also provides a permanent residence for numerous bird species including wading and shore birds, and mottled and mallard ducks. The area is also home to raccoons, armadillos and marsh rabbits. Fish species found here include spotted seatrout, sandtrout, redfish, black drum, croaker and flounder.