Big Boggy National Wildlife Refuge is on East Matagorda Bay just south of Lake Austin and twenty-one miles south of Bay City in southern Matagorda County. It is bordered on the west by Big Boggy Creek, on the east by a county road leading to the small fishing community of Chinquapin, and on the south by the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. It provides winter habitat for migratory waterfowl. In 1990 it had 4,113 acres of coastal prairie and salt marsh. It is accessible only by way of Chinquapin Road or by boat. Dotted by numerous small lakes, including Lake Kilbride and Pelton Lake, the refuge, along with other such refuges on the Texas Gulf Coast, provides essential winter habitat for birds on the Central Flyway, one of four major migratory routes over the continental United States. Big Boggy Refuge is administered from the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior. It was established in July 1983 with 1,410 acres purchased from the LeTulle estate, which also sold the refuge most of its additional land with the exception of Dressing Point Island in East Matagorda Bay, which was purchased from the Bear estate. The island provides a breeding ground for such colonial birds as pelicans, herons, and spoonbills; the endangered brown pelican has nested there also. In 1990 two wildlife easements (partially protected habitat not owned by the refuge) totaling 258 acres adjoined the mainland refuge. In the late 1980s Big Boggy National Wildlife Refuge was one of thirteen national wildlife refuges in Texas, which together total some 250,000 acres, and one of 420 in the United States. Though Big Boggy is generally closed to visitors, fishing and waterfowl hunting are permitted in season. Those interested in area wildlife are encouraged to try nearby San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, a few miles to the east, or Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge.
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Big Boggy National Wildlife Refuge,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 28, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
November 1, 1994