Ready to start tanning and ride the waves? Wanting to take a long relaxing walk across the shoreline to the sounds of the calming ocean? How about watching the dolphins swim across the ocean? As great and adventurous as all of those activities sound, there has always been one question about Galveston that has always puzzled me and many others: Why is the water brown and not teal blue such as a Caribbean beach?
There are a few factors as to why the water is the way that it is and today we are going do discuss them. Hopefully, a better understanding can give us a better idea as to why the water is not blue.
A main factor explaining Galveston’s water color is the Mississippi River. The Mississippi happens to empty out in the Gulf. It also carries almost of 2 million tons of sediment with it each day! And, the Mississippi sediment joins with the Red River sediment, which come together to create the Atchafalaya River. All of that sediment just so happens to completely empty out in the Gulf of Mexico.
You may be wondering why places like Florida aren’t affected by this trend. Other waters such as the waters of Florida have a sea flora on the floor of the ocean which traps the sediment and makes the clean blue water appear. However, Galveston water is mostly shallow causing the sand and sediment turnover to be relatively high. This causes the non-see-through brown water. This also explains why the water looks blue far out at sea in Galveston. The water is much deeper trapping the sediment.
Galveston’s water color may not be as beautiful as other beaches, but it is just as safe, fun and relaxing. The water is constantly tested by The Galveston County Public Health Laboratory to make sure it is safe for civilians to swim in.
The brown water has nothing to do with pollution. It is simply due to the way the earth was constructed. Many blame the Gulf oil spill, but it has been long cleaned up from the waters. Also, the water was brown long before the spill happened.
Now that you are in the know about why the water in Galveston is brown, you can hopefully gain a greater appreciation for it. It is not the fault of the people or anything else, it is simply nature and the construction of earth. So, the next time you come down to Galveston, take a dip into the water knowing that it is just as safe as any other beach!