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Field Trips

Join RAE and Galveston Bay Foundation on a trip to local living shorelines projects or a leisurely paddle around Galveston Bay. Included in the price of registration, attendees will have the chance to get up close and personal with projects completed in the area aimed at improving resilience, protecting communities, and providing habitat for fish and wildlife. Transportation and lunch will be provided to and from locations.

Field trips will be assigned to attendees on a first-come-first-served basis and can be selected at the time of check out. We are offering ranked choice selection in the off chance that we cannot accommodate your first or second choices. Capacity is limited so be sure to register today to secure your first choice!

Update – Limited space available

If you have not yet registered for the 2023 Living Shorelines Workshop, please note that there are just a few open spots remaining on field trips. If you have already registered, you will updated about the status of your field trip selection by Friday October 20. There will be a wait list in the lobby for anyone who did not get assigned to a trip in the chance that we have some cancellations

Tour of 3 Living Shorelines in Kemah/Seabrook – Sold Out

Travel by bus to the bayside town of Kemah for a tour of Galveston Bay Foundation’s (GBF) Headquarters. You will learn about GBF’s plans for the 30-acre preserve and future Gessner Center and will observe ongoing coastal prairie and freshwater wetland restoration. Then travel to two smaller-scale living shorelines installed by local municipalities and learn about these projects from local partners. Weather appropriate clothing and closed-toed shoes required. Plan for light walking on uneven terrain. Bus transportation and lunch provided. Outing will not take place in severe weather.

Tour of Galveston Bay Foundation’s Sweetwater Preserve

Start with a short bus ride to Galveston Bay Foundation’s (GBF) 449-acre Sweetwater Preserve that encompasses diverse habitats. A 15-minute hike down a gravel road will lead to the shoreline where GBF has installed over 1,500 feet of oyster shell breakwater utilizing 200+ tons of recycled oyster shell. You’ll observe and analyze the contents of an oyster reef sample as well as discuss the successes and challenges of this 10-year, volunteer-based effort. Another short bus ride will take you to the northern shoreline of the Preserve. After a 5-minute hike, you’ll climb a short flight of stairs to access a platform with breathtaking views of West Galveston Bay, the Galveston Causeway, as well as Sweetwater Preserve. Weather appropriate clothing and closed-toed shoes required. Plan for walking up to 1.5 miles on gravel roads and uneven terrain. Gloves will be provided for those interested in analyzing oyster samples. Binoculars are encouraged and a limited number will be available for use. Outing will not take place in severe weather.

Kayak Tour of Eckert Bayou Living Shorelines – Sold Out

On the short bus ride from Moody Gardens, you’ll pass by the Artist Boat Coastal Heritage Preserve, an 898-acre conservation area, before arriving at the kayak launch on Eckert Bayou. You’ll paddle in tandem kayaks near four small-scale living shorelines, all implemented by private landowners, and learn about the start of the living shoreline initiative in Galveston Bay. Depending on the conditions, you’ll also paddle around Bob Moore Island, a conservation easement managed by the Galveston Bay Foundation and home to a diverse array of wildlife. Weather appropriate clothing that can get wet and closed-toed shoes required. Plan for a low impact paddle in calm waters. Kayak limits up to 6’7”, 250 lbs. Outing will not take place in severe weather. 

Boat Tour of Dollar Bay Marsh Restoration & Shoreline Protection – Sold Out

Travel by bus to the bayside community of Texas City. Join Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) and partners for a boat ride in the Dollar Bay-Moses Lake complex to observe a multi-phased marsh restoration and shoreline protection project. In addition, GBF acquired 106 acres of coastal prairie and wetland habitat adjacent to the restoration site for conservation purposes. Weather appropriate clothing and closed-toed shoes required. Plan for a low impact ride on small boats and minimal walking. Life vests will be provided. 

Tour of East End Lagoon Nature Preserve

Travel by bus to the east end of Galveston Island where you’ll enjoy lunch on East Beach with a view of the Gulf of Mexico. This tour will highlight a collaborative effort to protect over 680 acres of diverse coastal habitat and provide public access to nature. Known as the East End Lagoon Nature Preserve, this area is one of Galveston’s largest undeveloped spaces, containing tidal and nontidal wetlands, beach dunes, a freshwater pond, black mangroves, upland prairie, and an extensive marine coastline. You’ll learn about beach renourishment efforts along the Gulf shoreline as well as coastal bird conservation practices. These protected habitats provide refuge for numerous native and migratory birds so be sure to bring your binoculars! Weather appropriate clothing and closed-toed shoes required. Plan for walking up to 0.5-miles on an ADA-accessible trail. Walking in sand may also be required. Binoculars are encouraged and a limited number may be available for use. Outing will not take place in severe weather.

Tour of TX A&M University at Galveston

After a short bus ride to the Texas A&M Galveston campus, you’ll visit research facilities including the Phytoplankton Lab, the Seafood Safety Lab, and the Coastal and Wetlands Ecology lab to meet the students and faculty and hear about their ongoing research on such topics as Spartina infaunal communities.  You’ll also get the Behind the Scenes tour of the Sea Life Facility, including outreach aquaria and touch tanks, and current research projects. Closed-toe shoes are required, and some parts of the facility may not be ADA-accessible due to tank configuration.