Gulf Coast of the United States

The Gulf Coast of the United States is the coastline along the Southern United States where they meet the Gulf of Mexico. The coastal states that have a shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico are Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, and these are known as the Gulf States.[1]

The economy of the Gulf Coast area is dominated by industries related to energy, petrochemicals, fishing, aerospace, agriculture, and tourism. The large cities of the region are (from west to east) McAllen, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Houston, Galveston, Beaumont, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Gulfport, Biloxi, Mobile, Pensacola, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and increasingly, Sarasota. All are the centers of their respective metropolitan areas and contain large ports. (Baton Rouge is relatively far from the Gulf of Mexico; its port is on the Mississippi River, as is the port of New Orleans.)

Gulf Coast
States that border the Gulf of Mexico are shown in red.
States that border the Gulf of Mexico are shown in red.
Coordinates: 30°N 90°W / 30°N 90°WCoordinates: 30°N 90°W / 30°N 90°W
Country United States
States Alabama
Principal citiesHouston
New Orleans
Largest cityHouston
Largest metropolitan areaGreater Houston
ISS Expedition 25 Night Time Image Of The US Northern Gulf Coast
Night time astronaut image of the northern Gulf coast.


The Gulf Coast is made of many inlets, bays, and lagoons. The coast is also intersected by numerous rivers, the largest of which is the Mississippi River. Much of the land along the Gulf Coast is, or was, marshland. Ringing the Gulf Coast is the Gulf Coastal Plain which reaches from Southern Texas to the western Florida Panhandle while the western portions of the Gulf Coast are made up of many barrier islands and peninsulas, including the 130 miles (210 km) Padre Island and Galveston Island located in the U.S. State of Texas. These landforms protect numerous bays and inlets providing as a barrier to oncoming waves. The central part of the Gulf Coast, from eastern Texas through Louisiana, consists primarily of marshland. The eastern part of the Gulf Coast, predominantly Florida, is dotted with many bays and inlets.


The Gulf Coast climate is humid subtropical, although the southwestern tip of Florida, such as Everglades City, features a tropical climate. Much of the year is warm to hot along the Gulf Coast, while the 3 winter months bring periods of cool (or rarely, cold) weather mixed with mild temperatures. The area is vulnerable to hurricanes as well as floods and severe thunderstorms. Much of the Gulf Coast has a summer precipitation maximum, with July or August commonly the wettest month due to the combination of frequent summer thunderstorms produced by relentless heat and humidity, and tropical weather systems (tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes), while winter and early spring rainfall also can be heavy. This pattern is evident at Houston, Texas, New Orleans, Louisiana, Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida. However, the central and southern Florida peninsula and South Texas has a pronounced winter dry season, as at Tampa and Fort Myers, Florida. On the central and southern Texas coast, winter, early spring and mid-summer are markedly drier, and September is the wettest month on average (as at Corpus Christi and Brownsville, Texas). Tornadoes are infrequent at the coast but do occur; however, they occur more frequently in inland portions of Gulf Coast states. Over most of the Gulf Coast from Houston, Texas eastward, extreme rainfall events are a significant threat, commonly from tropical weather systems, which can bring 4 to 10 or more inches of rain in a single day. In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the central Texas coast, then migrated to and stalled over the greater Houston area for several days, producing extreme, unprecedented rainfall totals of over 40 inches (1,000 mm) in many areas, unleashing widespread flooding. Earthquakes are extremely rare to the area, but a surprising 6.0 earthquake in the Gulf of Mexico on September 10, 2006, could be felt from the cities of New Orleans to Tampa.

Economic activities

Gulf Coast Platforms
NOAA map of the 3,856 oil and gas platforms extant off the Gulf Coast in 2006.

The Gulf Coast is a major center of economic activity. The marshlands along the Louisiana and Texas coasts provide breeding grounds and nurseries for ocean life that drive the fishing and shrimping industries. The Port of South Louisiana (Metropolitan New Orleans in Laplace) and the Port of Houston are two of the ten busiest ports in the world by cargo volume.[2] As of 2004, seven of the top ten busiest ports in the U.S. are on the Gulf Coast.[3]

The discovery of oil and gas deposits along the coast and offshore, combined with easy access to shipping, have made the Gulf Coast the heart of the U.S. petrochemical industry. The coast contains nearly 4,000 oil platforms.

Besides the above, the region features other important industries including aerospace and biomedical research, as well as older industries such as agriculture and — especially since the development of the Gulf Coast beginning in the 1920s and the increase in wealth throughout the United States — tourism.


Before Europeans arrived in the region, the region was home to several pre-Columbian kingdoms that had extensive trade networks with empires such as the Aztecs and the Mississippi Mound Builders. Shark and alligator teeth and shells from the Gulf have been found as far north as Ohio, in the mounds of the Hopewell culture.[4]

The first Europeans to settle the Gulf Coast were primarily the French and the Spanish. The Louisiana Purchase, Adams–Onís Treaty and the Texas Revolution made the Gulf Coast a part of the United States during the first half of the 19th century. As the U.S. population continued to expand its frontiers westward, the Gulf Coast was a natural magnet in the South providing access to shipping lanes and both national and international commerce. The development of sugar and cotton production (enabled by slavery) allowed the South to prosper. By the mid 19th century the city of New Orleans, being situated as a key to commerce on the Mississippi River and in the Gulf, had become the largest U.S. city not on the Atlantic seaboard and the fourth largest in the U.S. overall.

Two major events were turning points in the earlier history of the Gulf Coast region. The first was the American Civil War, which caused severe damage to some economic sectors in the South, including the Gulf Coast. The second event was the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. At the end of the 19th century Galveston was, with New Orleans, one of the most developed cities in the region. The city had the third busiest port in the U.S.[5] and its financial district was known as the "Wall Street of the South".[6] The storm mostly destroyed the city, which has never regained its former glory, and set back development in the region.

Since then the Gulf Coast has been hit with numerous other hurricanes. On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane. It was the most damaging storm in the history of the United States, causing upwards of $80 billion in damages, and leaving over 1,800 dead. Again in 2008 the Gulf Coast was struck by a catastrophic hurricane. Due to its immense size, Hurricane Ike caused devastation from the Louisiana coastline all the way to the Kenedy County, Texas region near Corpus Christi.[7] In addition, Ike caused flooding and significant damage along the Mississippi coastline and the Florida Panhandle[8] Ike killed 112 people and left upwards of 300 people missing, never to be found.[9] Hurricane Ike was the third most damaging storm in the history of the United States, causing more than $25 billion[10] in damage along the coast, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless, and sparking the largest search-and-rescue operation in U.S. history.[11]

Other than the hurricanes, the Gulf Coast has redeveloped dramatically over the course of the 20th century. The gulf coast is highly populated. The petrochemical industry, launched with the major discoveries of oil in Texas and spurred on by further discoveries in the Gulf waters, has been a vehicle for development in the central and western Gulf which has spawned development on a variety of fronts in these regions. Texas in particular has benefited tremendously from this industry over the course of the 20th century and economic diversification has made the state a magnet for population and home to more Fortune 500 companies than any other U.S. state. Florida has grown as well, driven to a great extent by its long established tourism industry but also by its position as a gateway to the Caribbean and Latin America. As of 2006, these two states are the second and fourth most populous states in the nation, respectively (see this article). Other areas of the Gulf Coast have benefited less, though economic development fueled by tourism has greatly increased property values along the coast, and is now a severe danger to the valuable but fragile ecosystems of the Gulf Coast.

Metropolitan areas

The following table lists the 15 largest MSAs along the Gulf Coast.

Metropolitan Statistical Areas on the United States Gulf Coast
Rank Metropolitan Statistical Area 2016 Pop (est.) 2000 Pop Δ Pop Combined Statistical Area
1 Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX MSA 6,772,470 4,715,407 +24.43% Houston-Baytown-Huntsville, TX CSA
2 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSA 3,032,171 2,395,997 +14.66% primary census statistical area
3 New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA MSA 1,268,883 1,316,510 -9.61% New Orleans-Metairie-Bogalusa, LA CSA
4 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX MSA 849,843 569,463 +30.15% primary census statistical area
5 Baton Rouge MSA 835,175 729,361 +11.03% primary census statistical area
6 North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL MSA 788,457 589,959 +16.64% Sarasota-Bradenton-Punta Gorda, FL CSA
7 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL MSA 722,336 440,888 +33.12% primary census statistical area
8 Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL MSA 485,684 412,153 +10.42% primary census statistical area
9 Corpus Christi, TX MSA 454,726 403,280 +3.18% Corpus Christi-Kingsville, TX CSA
11 Mobile, AL MSA 414,836 399,843 +2.97% Mobile-Daphne-Fairhope, AL CSA
10 Brownsville–Harlingen, TX MSA 422,135 335,227 +18.24% Brownsville-Harlingen-Raymondville, TX CSA
12 Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX MSA 409,968 385,090 -1.72% primary census statistical area
14 Naples-Marco Island, FL MSA 318,537 251,377 +26.72% primary census statistical area
13 Gulfport-Biloxi, MS MSA 365,136 246,190 -3.01% Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS CSA
15 Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA MSA 211,525 194,477 +4.37% primary census statistical area



Major Interstates

Highway Significant Cities Served
I-2.svg Interstate 2 Harlingen, McAllen
I-4.svg Interstate 4 Tampa
I-10.svg Interstate 10 Houston, Baytown, Beaumont, Lake Charles, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Gulfport, Biloxi, Mobile, Pensacola
I-37.svg Interstate 37 Corpus Christi
I-45.svg Interstate 45 Galveston, Houston
I-49.svg Interstate 49 New Orleans (future), Houma (future), Thibodaux (future), Lafayette
I-55.svg Interstate 55 Hammond
I-65.svg Interstate 65 Mobile
I-69.svg Interstate 69 Victoria (future), Houston
I-69E.svg Interstate 69E Brownsville, Harlingen, Corpus Christi, Victoria (future)
I-69W.svg Interstate 69W Victoria (future)
I-75.svg Interstate 75 Naples, Fort Myers, North Port, Bradenton, St. Petersburg, Tampa

Major U.S. routes

Highway Significant Cities Served
US 11.svg U.S. 11 New Orleans
US 17.svg U.S. 17 Punta Gorda
US 19.svg U.S. 19 St. Petersburg, Tampa
US 29.svg U.S. 29 Pensacola
US 31.svg U.S. 31 Spanish Fort
US 41.svg U.S. 41 Bradenton, Fort Myers, Naples, St. Petersburg, Tampa
US 43.svg U.S. 43 Mobile
US 45.svg U.S. 45 Mobile
US 49.svg U.S. 49 Biloxi, Gulfport
US 51.svg U.S. 51 Hammond
US 59.svg U.S. 59 Houston, Victoria
US 61.svg U.S. 61 New Orleans
US 69.svg U.S. 69 Beaumont, Port Arthur
US 77.svg U.S. 77 Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Victoria
US 83.svg U.S. 83 Brownsville, Harlingen
US 87.svg U.S. 87 Port Lavaca, Victoria
US 90.svg U.S. 90 Beaumont, Biloxi, Crestview, Houma, Houston, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Mobile, New Orleans, Pascagoula, Pensacola, Thibodaux
US 92.svg U.S. 92 St. Petersburg, Tampa
US 96.svg U.S. 96 Beaumont, Port Arthur
US 98.svg U.S. 98 Fort Walton Beach, Mobile, Pensacola, Panama City

Other significant routes

Highway Significant Cities Served
Louisiana 1.svg LA 1 Grand Isle, Port Fourchon, Thibodaux
Florida 85.svg S.R. 85 Crestview, Fort Walton Beach
Texas 35.svg S.H. 35 Houston, Bay City, Port Lavaca, Rockport, Corpus Christi
Texas 288.svg S.H. 288 Houston, Lake Jackson, Freeport


International service

George Bush Intercontinental Airport - Houston ArgentinaArgentina, The BahamasBahamas, BelizeBelize, BonaireBonaire, BrazilBrazil, CanadaCanada, Cayman IslandsCayman Islands, ChileChile, ChinaChina, ColombiaColombia, Costa RicaCosta Rica, Dominican RepublicDominican Republic, EcuadorEcuador, El SalvadorEl Salvador, FranceFrance, GermanyGermany, GuatemalaGuatemala, HondurasHonduras, JamaicaJamaica, JapanJapan, MexicoMexico, NetherlandsNetherlands, New ZealandNew Zealand, NicaraguaNicaragua, NigeriaNigeria, NorwayNorway, PanamaPanama, PeruPeru, QatarQatar, RussiaRussia, SingaporeSingapore, Trinidad and TobagoTrinidad and Tobago,TurkeyTurkey, Turks and Caicos IslandsTurks and Caicos Islands, United Arab EmiratesUAE, United KingdomUnited Kingdom, VenezuelaVenezuela
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport CanadaCanada, CubaCuba,[12] GermanyGermany, HondurasHonduras, MexicoMexico, PanamaPanama, United KingdomUnited Kingdom
Southwest Florida International Airport CanadaCanada, GermanyGermany
Tampa International Airport The BahamasBahamas, CanadaCanada, Cayman IslandsCayman Islands, CubaCuba, GermanyGermany, IcelandIceland, MexicoMexico, PanamaPanama, SwitzerlandSwitzerland, United KingdomUnited Kingdom
William P. Hobby Airport - Houston ArubaAruba, BelizeBelize, Cayman IslandsCayman Islands, Costa RicaCosta Rica, Dominican RepublicDominican Republic, JamaicaJamaica, MexicoMexico


Amtrak service

Train Route Gulf Coast Cities Served
City of New Orleans Chicago to New Orleans New Orleans
Crescent New York to New Orleans New Orleans, Picayune, MS, Slidell, LA
Sunset Limited Los Angeles to Orlando (temporarily New Orleans) Bay St. Louis, MS, Beaumont, TX, Biloxi, Crestview, FL, Gulfport, MS, Houston, Lafayette, LA, Lake Charles, LA, Baton Rouge, LA, Mobile, New Orleans, Panama City, FL, Scriever, LA, Pascagoula, MS, Pensacola

See also


  1. ^ For example: "Gulf Coast Energy Outlook" (PDF) (Spring 2017 ed.). Center for Energy Studies. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 Apr 2018. Retrieved 13 Apr 2018 – via Economics & Policy Research Group., p. 1 (" Unless stated otherwise, Gulf Coast hereafter specifically refers to the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida").
  2. ^ Rosenberg, Matt (2003-06-14). "Busiest Ports in the World". Retrieved 2006-10-15.
  3. ^ Rosenberg, Matt (June 14, 2003). "Waterborne Commerce Statistics: Tonnage for Selected U.S. Ports in 2004". Archived from the original on November 17, 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-15.
  4. ^ Nash, Gary B. Red, White and Black: The Peoples of Early North America Los Angeles 2015. Chapter 1, p. 6
  5. ^ "The 1900 Storm". Archived from the original on 2006-07-11. Retrieved 2006-07-11.
  6. ^ "Galveston, Texas History". Retrieved 2007-10-15.
  7. ^ "Evacuation and Devastation in Southern Texas". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  8. ^ "Flooding in Miss. and FL". USA Today. 2008-09-11. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Robbie Berg (2009-01-23). "Hurricane Ike Tropical Cyclone Report" (PDF). NHC. Retrieved 2009-09-12.
  11. ^ Ike Evacuation and Rescue Operation Archived 2013-12-02 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "New Orleans airport is one of eight given approval for Cuba flights". Retrieved 2012-01-03.

Further reading

  • Drescher, Christopher F., Stefan E. Schulenberg, and C. Veronica Smith. "The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Mississippi Gulf Coast: Mental health in the context of a technological disaster." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 84.2 (2014): 142.
  • Smith, F. Todd Louisiana and the Gulf South Frontier, 1500–1821 (Louisiana State University Press; 2014) 304 pages
  • Williamson, James M., and John L. Pender. "Economic Stimulus and the Tax Code The Impact of the Gulf Opportunity Zone." Public Finance Review (2014): 1091142114557724.

External links

1947 Fort Lauderdale hurricane

The 1947 Fort Lauderdale hurricane was an intense tropical cyclone that affected the Bahamas, southernmost Florida, and the Gulf Coast of the United States in September 1947. The fourth Atlantic tropical cyclone of the year, it formed in the eastern Atlantic Ocean on September 4, becoming a hurricane, the third of the 1947 Atlantic hurricane season, less than a day later. After moving south by west for the next four days, it turned to the northwest and rapidly attained strength beginning on September 9. It reached a peak intensity of 145 mph (233 km/h) on September 15 while approaching the Bahamas. In spite of contemporaneous forecasts that predicted a strike farther north, the storm then turned to the west and poised to strike South Florida, crossing first the northern Bahamas at peak intensity. In the Bahamas, the storm produced a large storm surge and heavy damage, but with no reported fatalities.

A day later, the storm struck South Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, its eye becoming the first and only of a major hurricane to strike Fort Lauderdale. In Florida, advance warnings and stringent building codes were credited with minimizing structural damage and reducing loss of life to 17 people, but nevertheless widespread flooding and coastal damage resulted from heavy rainfall and high tides. Many vegetable plantings, citrus groves, and cattle were submerged or drowned as the storm exacerbated already high water levels and briefly threatened to breach the dikes surrounding Lake Okeechobee. However, the dikes held firm, and evacuations were otherwise credited with minimizing the potential death toll. On the west coast of the state, the storm caused further flooding, extensive damage south of the Tampa Bay Area, and the loss of a ship at sea.

On September 18, the hurricane entered the Gulf of Mexico and threatened the Florida Panhandle, but later its track moved farther west than expected, ultimately leading to a landfall southeast of New Orleans, Louisiana. Upon making landfall, the storm killed 34 people on the Gulf Coast of the United States and produced a storm tide as high as 15.2 ft (4.6 m), flooding millions of square miles and destroying thousands of homes. The storm was the first major hurricane to test Greater New Orleans since 1915, and the widespread flooding that resulted spurred flood-protection legislation and an enlarged levee system to safeguard the flood-prone area. In all, the powerful storm killed 51 people and caused $110 million (1947 US$) in damage.

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is a 114,657 acre (464 km2) protected area situated on the southwest side of San Antonio Bay along the Gulf Coast of the U.S. state of Texas. It is located in parts of Aransas, Refugio, and Calhoun counties. The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge was established by Executive Order 7784 on 31 December 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as the Aransas Migratory Waterfowl Refuge as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. Roosevelt issued a proclamation in 1940 changing the name to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.In October 1938, Civilian Conservation Corps Company 880 established camp south of Austwell, Texas. They built roads, ditches, firebreaks, and the residence facilities for the refuge. They constructed part of the spillway for Burgentine Lake, which serves as a major resting area for migratory waterfowl. They also graded the road to Austwell.Bird life includes ducks, herons, egrets, ibises, roseate spoonbills, and the endangered whooping crane, whose population has recovered significantly since the 1940s.

Other fauna include American alligators, collared peccaries, snakes, and bobcats, which inhabit the refuge's grasslands, blackjack oak thickets, freshwater ponds, and marshes.

Emerald Coast

The Emerald Coast is an unofficial name for the coastal area in the US state of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico that stretches about 100 mi (161 km) through five counties, Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, and Bay, from Pensacola to Panama City. Some south Alabama communities on the coast of Baldwin County, such as Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan embrace the term as well. The coast was previously called the Miracle Strip. Informally the region has been dubbed the Redneck Riviera.

Florida Suncoast

The Florida Suncoast is a local marketing name for the west-central peninsular Florida coastal area, also sometimes known as Florida's Beach communities. The region contains more than twenty miles of Gulf of Mexico beaches and the warm, sunny winter climate attracts tourist from across the USA, Canada, and Europe. The phrase was coined in 1952 by St. Petersburg, Florida, mayor Samuel G. Johnson.

Forgotten Coast

Florida's Forgotten Coast is a registered trademark, coined in the early 1990s, by the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce. The name is most commonly used to refer to a relatively quiet, undeveloped and largely uninhabited section of coastline stretching from Mexico Beach on the Gulf of Mexico to St. Marks on Apalachee Bay in the U.S. state of Florida. The nearest major cities are Tallahassee, about 90 miles (145 km) northeast of Apalachicola, and Panama City, home of Tyndall Air Force Base, about 60 miles (95 km) to the northwest.

In addition to the endpoints, it encompasses the coastal communities of (west to east):

Port St. Joe

Cape San Blas




Lanark Village

Alligator Point


Shell PointThese communities are located in the following counties, which by extension may be included in references to the Forgotten Coast by some writers:

Gulf County, Florida

Franklin County, Florida

Wakulla County, FloridaThe area is renowned for its oyster and shrimp production, marine wildlife, and fine white-sand beaches. Peninsulas and barrier islands along the coast include:

Gulf County:

St. Joseph Peninsula

Cape San Blas

Franklin County:

St. Vincent Island

Cape St. George Island

St. George Island

Dog IslandProtected natural and historic areas include:

St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve

Prospect Bluff Historic Sites

St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge

St. George Island State Park

Tate's Hell State Forest

Bald Point State Park

Wakulla State Forest

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail

Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1992 under the Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986 to protect one of the largest expanses of undisturbed pine savanna habitats in the Gulf Coastal Plain region. The refuge is located near Grand Bay, Alabama in Mobile County, Alabama and Jackson County, Mississippi, and when complete will encompass over 32,000 acres (130 km2). The refuge is part of the National Wildlife Refuge system. The Refuge Complex Manager also administers the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge and Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. Access to refuge lands (especially interior portions) is limited, but is available mostly on the Mississippi side and by boat.

Gulf Coast Council

Gulf Coast Council of the Boy Scouts of America serves over 20,000 youth in traditional Scouting and in Learning for Life programs 11 counties of the Florida panhandle and 3 counties in Alabama. The council office located in Pensacola, Florida. The council's name refers to the Gulf Coast of the United States.

Gulf Coastal Plain

The Gulf Coastal Plain extends around the Gulf of Mexico in the Southern United States and eastern Mexico.

The plain reaches from the Florida Panhandle, southwest Georgia, the southern two-thirds of Alabama, over most of Mississippi, western Tennessee and Kentucky, into southern Illinois, the Missouri Bootheel, eastern and southern Arkansas, all of Louisiana, the southeast corner of Oklahoma, and easternmost Texas in the United States. It continues along the Gulf in northeastern and eastern Mexico, through Tamaulipas and Veracruz to Tabasco and the Yucatán Peninsula on the Bay of Campeche.

Gulf Intracoastal Waterway

The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is the portion of the Intracoastal Waterway located along the Gulf Coast of the United States. It is a navigable inland waterway running approximately 1,050 mi (1,690 km) from Carrabelle, Florida, to Brownsville, Texas.

The waterway provides a channel with a controlling depth of 12 ft (3.7 m), designed primarily for barge transportation. Although the U.S. government proposals for such a waterway were made in the early 19th century, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway was not completed until 1949.

Intracoastal Waterway

The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) is a 3,000-mile (4,800 km) inland waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the United States, running from Boston, Massachusetts, southward along the Atlantic Seaboard and around the southern tip of Florida, then following the Gulf Coast to Brownsville, Texas. Some sections of the waterway consist of natural inlets, saltwater rivers, bays, and sounds, while others are artificial canals. It provides a navigable route along its length without many of the hazards of travel on the open sea. Many species of plants and animals can be seen along the path of the ICW.

Mississippi Gulf Coast

The Mississippi Gulf Coast, also known as the Mississippi Gulf Coast region, Coastal Mississippi, or simply The Coast, is the area of southern Mississippi along the Mississippi Sound along the Gulf Of Mexico.

Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge

The Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1975 to safeguard the endangered Mississippi sandhill crane and its unique disappearing wet pine savanna habitat. The refuge consists of more than 19,000 acres (77 km2) in four units and is now part of the Gulf Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The Refuge Complex Manager also administers Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Mississippi/Alabama) and Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge (Alabama).

Mississippi Sound

The Mississippi Sound is a sound along the Gulf Coast of the United States. It runs east-west along the southern coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, from Waveland, Mississippi, to the Dauphin Island Bridge, a distance of about 145 kilometers (90 mi). The sound is bordered on its southern edge by the barrier islands - Cat, Ship, Horn, West Petit Bois (formerly known as Sand Island), Petit Bois, and Dauphin. Ship, Horn, West Petit Bois and Petit Bois Islands are part of the National Park Service's Gulf Islands National Seashore. Those islands separate the sound from the Gulf of Mexico. The sediment of the islands was created partly by the ancient Mississippi River when the St. Bernard Lobe of the Mississippi Delta was active over two thousand years ago. The expansion of the St. Bernard subdelta slowly isolated the Mississippi Sound from ocean dynamics of the open Gulf of Mexico.Traditional seafood harvests, particularly shellfish, have been curtailed recently due to declines in numbers and quality caused by pollution and weather related events such as hurricanes, flooding, or droughts. Federal and state authorities have various programs and regulations aimed at shellfish restoration and water quality monitoring for beachgoers. After the 2008 and 2011 openings of the floodgates of the Bonnet Carré Spillway the massive freshwater destroyed the oyster and crab populations and the authorities have undertaken cultch plantings to restore the fisheries in the western sound. Sport fishing is year-round on charters as well as the nearshore.Large portions of the Mississippi Sound reach depths of about 6 meters (20 ft). Part of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway traverses the sound with a project depth of 3.6 meters (12 ft). The waterway, maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers, is designed for towboat and barge traffic. Most of its route through the sound is merely an imaginary line through water whose depth exceeds the project depth. A section west of Cat Island and the portion north of Dauphin Island rely on dredged channels marked by aids to navigation maintained by the US Coast Guard.

Deepwater ports along the sound include Gulfport and Pascagoula. Dredged ship channels running basically north-south connect those ports to the Gulf of Mexico, running between pairs of the barrier islands. The Bay of St. Louis and Biloxi Bay on the northern side of the sound jut into mainland Mississippi. These bays drain the Wolf and Jourdan Rivers as well as Bernard, Davis, and Turkey bayous

The Pascagoula River and the Pearl River flow into the sound.

RSA Battle House Tower

The RSA Battle House Tower is located in Mobile, Alabama and is Alabama's tallest building. The building is owned by the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA). It is the tallest on the Gulf Coast of the United States outside Houston. It replaces the Wells Fargo Tower in Birmingham as the tallest building in Alabama and the RSA–BankTrust Building as the tallest in Mobile. The building is named for the neighboring Battle House Hotel, which is now part of the tower complex. The Battle House Hotel was restored and renovated as part of the tower project.

Sabine Lake

Sabine Lake is a 90,000-acre (36,000 ha) saltwater estuary on the Texas-Louisiana border. The lake, some 14 miles (23 km) long and 7 miles (11 km) wide, is formed by the confluence of the Neches and Sabine rivers. Through its tidal outlet 5 miles (8 km) long, Sabine Pass, Sabine Lake drains some 50,000 square miles (100,000 km2) of Texas and Louisiana into the Gulf of Mexico. The lake borders Jefferson County, Texas, Orange County, Texas, Cameron Parish, Louisiana, and the city of Port Arthur, Texas.

Spanish Main

In the context of Spain's New World Empire, its mainland coastal possessions surrounding the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico were referred to collectively as the Spanish Main. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the southern portion of these coastal possessions was known as the Province of Tierra Firme, or the "mainland province" (as contrasted with Spain's nearby insular colonies).

Tamaulipan mezquital

The Tamaulipan mezquital ecoregion, in the deserts and xeric shrublands biome, is located in the southern United States and northeastern Mexico. It covers an area of 141,500 km2 (54,600 sq mi), encompassing a portion of the Gulf Coastal Plain in southern Texas, northern Tamaulipas, northeastern Coahuila, and part of Nuevo León.

Third Coast

Third Coast is an American colloquialism used to describe coastal regions distinct from the West Coast and the East Coast of the United States. Generally, the term "Third Coast" refers to either the Great Lakes region or the Gulf Coast of the United States.Considering its Great Lakes coasts, Michigan has more miles of shoreline than does any other of the lower 48 states and more fresh water shoreline than any other state. Many regional businesses incorporate the term "Third Coast" in their names and products, such as Michigan's Third Coast Kite and Hobby, which has an image of the coastal dunes in its logo, and Texas-based Third Coast Coffee.

Rap and hip-hop acts from Houston, and other Gulf Coast cities in Southern states, are often referred to as emerging from the Third Coast.

Xiphopenaeus kroyeri

Xiphopenaeus kroyeri, commonly called the Atlantic seabob, is a commercially important prawn. It is up to 140 mm (5.5 in) long and is the most intensely fished prawn species in the Guianas and along much of the Gulf Coast of the United States.

Flora and fauna
Largest cities
Major hurricanes
Metro areas
Largest cities
Larger cities
Smaller cities
Gulf Coast of North America
Sovereign states
Dependencies and
other territories


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.