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The national parks are yours.

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YOU can help protect your national parks!

Help us reach our $401,000 goal by 12/31 so we can start 2015 strong defending them.

The national parks are yours.

Make your year-end, tax-deductible contribution to protect them today!

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Photo: National Park Service

Padre Island National Seashore

When the heat and humidity reach their summer heights, Texans head to Padre Island National Seashore.

This 70-mile stretch of sand dunes and grassland is as refreshing as a tall glass of ice cold sweet-tea. Never developed, this untouched barrier island remains in ecological balance.

This is not just one landscape, but many. Here, coastal prairie ends in delicate dunes. Wetlands and marshes abut prairies and beaches. Laguna Madre, a hypersaline lagoon, harbors species long lost from most of the planet.

Endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles come here each year to nest. A monitoring program tracks the turtles’ migration, and specially trained dogs help locate their nests so the eggs can be protected from predators.

This part of southwest Texas lies in the flight path of many migratory birds. For other species, this is their winter paradise. Birdwatchers converge at the shore, the park road, and Bird Island Basin, armed with binoculars and poised to shoot photos of oystercatchers, piping plover, heron, ibis, and stork.

Many eyes remain raised to the sky at night, as well. Minimal light pollution makes Padre Island National Seashore a perfect spot for stargazing.

Padre Island National Seashore

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Tim Upham

March 7, 2013

If it was not for the 1977 CITES act, that brought both the United States and Mexico together to take stringent action on protecting the Kemp's ridley sea turtles. Which are the smallest of the eight sea turtle species and the only one to nest during the day, they would have ended up extinct.

Cemeron

November 10, 2011

Definitely one of Texas best kept secrets. Had no idea this place even existed until 5 years ago, but was hooked on my first trip! The place is beautiful and unlike anything I've ever seen. They keep the beach exceptionally clean and the huge amount of space to explore is simply daunting! Best beach in Texas IMHO!

SC

November 10, 2011

I grew up 33 miles from south Padre Island in San Benito, Texas. We went to South Padre to enjoy the day so many times over the years. My first ever memory of South Padre Island was on Sept 9, 1951, my sister's ninth birthday. There was no bridge from Port Isabel to the island; so, we took a small row boat over. If possible, imagine this - there was nothing, absolutely nothing, not one structure whatsoever on the island. There were no homes there and no people on the island the day we were there. We actually looked out into the gulf waters and saw a barracuda and a shark come up out of the water fighting! It was awesome, especially for us small children. What a memory. I just thought you'd like to hear such and unusual memory.

Serenesusan

November 10, 2011

This is an awesome beach, with excellent park rangers who are always happy to engage children in lessons on the turtles, the sea shore, and conservation. It has excellent facilities for camping, showers for day beach goers, they offer star gazing. A visit to this park was the deciding factor for moving to South TX.

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