Galveston Island, a barrier island off the Texas Gulf coast close to the mainland coast, is where the city of Galveston is located. The island is fragile, subject to the effects of water and weather, and capable of shifting its boundaries through erosion. It is composed primarily of sand-sized particles, with smaller amounts of finer mud sediments and bigger gravel-sized sediments.
The distance from Houston’s downtown to the city is around 45 miles. The island is generally oriented northeast-southwest, with Galveston Bay to the north, the Gulf of Mexico to the east and south, and West Bay to the west. The Interstate Highway 45 causeway, which bridges West Bay on the northeastern side of the island, is the major means to get to the island from the mainland. The Demography of Galveston paints a picture of a city that’s not only growing fast, but also changing rapidly.
Galveston’s harbor is connected to the Gulf and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway through a deepwater channel. The city has a total area of 209.3 square miles, of which 168.1 square miles, or 80.31%, are water, and 41.2 square miles are land, according to the United States Census Bureau. Houston is 50 miles to the southeast of the island.
The “West End” of Galveston, which roughly corresponds to the region west of the western end of the seawall, is the westernmost part of the city. Havre Lafitte, Offats Bayou, Central City, Fort Crockett, Bayou Shore, Lasker Park, Carver Park, Kempner Park, Old City/Central Business District, San Jacinto, East End, and Lindale are among the communities in eastern Galveston (the region east of the western end of the seawall). As of 2009, a lot of people living in the west end of Galveston Island use golf carts to get to and from their homes, the Galveston Island Country Club, and shops. West End residents ran a campaign against any ban on the usage of golf carts after Chief of Police Charles Wiley stated in 2009 that he thought they should be outlawed outside of golf courses.
In 2011, Rice University published a paper titled “Atlas of Sustainable Strategies for Galveston Island” in which it was claimed that because the West End of Galveston was rapidly deteriorating, the city should stop building there or limit its population. In the event that the West End sustains damage from another hurricane, it advised against any reconstruction.
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