Founded in 1839 by Colonel Henry Lawrence Kinney this city originally was used as a small trading post to sell supplies to a Mexican revolutionary army. Being used as both a tactical fort and supply place it was critical during many wars that helped Texas keep independence from Mexico. The name of the city, Corpus Christi, is Latin and means the Body of Christ. This name was given by the Spanish settlement in honor to God as a thank you. With a name like Body of Christ the town wasn’t getting very many tourist and the city has been nicknamed “Sparkling City by the Sea,” because of it is a coastal city. The city has plenty of beaches for every occasion. Whether you want a family day in the sun, swimming, or beach volleyball there is a beach for you in Corpus Christi. If you want to see something a little more special you should plan a day at the North Padre Island. The National Seashore stretches 70 miles long down the Gulf beach. This Island is also the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world making it home to some spectacular wildlife. Whether you came to see the pristine beach, tidal flat environments, coastal prairie, a dynamic dune system, or the wind tidal flats teeming with life this beach will leave you breathless. Located on the island is Laguna Madre which is a famous place for windsurfing. Deep history surrounds the island including the 1554 Spanish shipwrecks which are preserved with the rest of the island. Because of it pristine untouched environment the beach is home to many animal species seldom seem elsewhere in the world. Found on the island is over 380 species of birds. It is sanctuary and nesting grounds for the endangered Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle which migrate here by the thousands every year to nest their young. An untouched timeless classic, the North Padre Island is a must do when visiting town.
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Also located on these beautiful beaches is the Texas State Aquarium which takes you deep into the gulf to know more about the animals surrounding this ecosystem. Go explore the Amazon and check out the piranha tank. Check out the 400,000 gallon aquarium and see the dolphins swim around you as you learn about them. To learn more about the dolphins you can even head upstairs and watch the dolphin show as they amaze you with their tricks. Next head over to floating phantoms and see the stinging verity of animals like: Pacific sea nettles, moon jellies, purple stripe jellies and Atlantic sea nettles, many of which are found on our local beaches. Over in the Flower Gardens you can see an exact replica of a coral reef that is located just 300 miles past the aquarium’s back door. What the sea animals float around their natural habitat and see the sea floor come to life. Head back inside and get hands on with the sea life you just saw. The Living Seas exhibit is several touch pools, aquariums, and three interactive computer kiosks help the public discover the different habitats of the Padre Island and Laguna Madre mentioned above. As you learn about the animals of the barrier reef stick your hand into the largest touch pool and safely interact with the sea life. The best exhibit is the Island of Steel exhibit. As oil rigs are put up and sit over time large ecosystems learn to exist and make homes in the platform of the oil rig. In the past when oil rigs were dismantled after use was done it destroyed the ecosystem underneath. Now we know the damage that is done to these animals and Rigs to Reefs program has made sure that the platform is left alone when the oil rig is dismantled so that no damage is done. Today you take a look at when the underwater life looks life when it is established around metal and steel.