History of the Bay

The Galveston Bay we know and enjoy had its beginnings following the last Ice Age less than 18,000 years ago. As the last Ice Age came to an end, the Earth warmed, Pleistocene mammals which roamed this area became extinct, the ice sheets withdrew, sea levels rose, and the shoreline moved to near-present locations, all over many thousands of years. The longshore currents along the new shoreline deposited sediments, eventually creating the sandbar we now know as Galveston Island about 5,000 years ago and Bolivar Peninsula about 2,500 years ago. Behind these barriers, Galveston Bay was formed.

This article written by Galveston Bay Foundation’s Vice President of Operations that appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of Houston History magazine. Click here to view a pdf of the full article.

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