The Mission-Aransas Reserve is a 185,708 acre contiguous complex of wetland, terrestrial, and marine environments. The land is primarily coastal prairie with unique oak motte habitats. The wetlands include riparian habitat, and freshwater and salt water marshes. Within the water areas, the bays are large, open, and include extensive wind tidal flats, seagrass meadows, mangroves, and oyster reefs. These unique and diverse estuarine habitats in the western Gulf of Mexico support a variety of commercially and recreationally important fish and shellfish species and are host to several endangered and threatened species, including the endangered Whooping Crane. The majority of the estuary within the Reserve is publicly owned by the Texas General Land Office and permits to establish research infrastructure can be requested through their leasing division. Requests for the Research within Goose Island State Park and the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge require special permission from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, respectively.
Site Profile Document
The Reserve has developed a “site profile” which summarizes much of our current knowledge about the Mission-Aransas Estuary. The Ecology and Sociology of the Mission-Aransas Estuary: An Estuarine and Watershed Profile provides researchers and resource managers with basic information about the different physical ecosystem components, ecological processes, habitats, and watershed characteristics of the Mission-Aransas Estuary. It also includes potential research topics that will address gaps in our knowledge, as well as major issues of concern.PDF