About the Refuge

Karankawa Indian Father and son

Archeological finds along this stretch of Texas Gulf Coast indicate it was once inhabited by Atakapa and Karankawa Indians.

The Karankawas fished and hunted here in 10-12,000 B.C. and the discovery of stone scraping tools, arrows and spear points, along with bones of bison, mastodons, wooly mammoth and saber-toothed tigers, suggest a bountiful hunting and gathering lifestyle. The arrival of the Spanish in the 18th century marked the beginning of the end of the cultures of the Atakapa and Karankawas. For centuries, these people piled discarded shells near bays that gradually became shell mounds where trees took root.

While the mounds memorialize the presence of the first peoples on the Texas Gulf Coast, today, the small woodlots found growing on the mounds serve as magnets to migrating songbirds looking for a resting perch after a long, exhausting flight over the Gulf of Mexico. The woodlots along with the refuge’s marshes, tidal flats and ponds provide important feeding, breeding and nesting habitat utilized by many resident and migratory wildlife species.

Established in 1979 under the authority of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, Texas Point National Wildlife Refuge protects 8,972 acres of coastal marsh habitat and is managed for its wildlife and habitat. Open to the public, visitors can enjoy wildlife-dependent recreation, including hunting, fishing, crabbing and wildlife watching and photography.

Texas Point is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a national network of lands and waters set aside for the benefit of wildlife, habitat and you.