Galveston & Corpus Christi Beaches Test Positive for Dangerous Levels of Enterococci Bacteria

UPDATE: Many people are mistaking this 2015 article for current beach test results. For test results as of 6/22/2016, please CLICK HERE.

Find great family activities on Galveston Island besides going to the beach!

UPDATE 6/27/2015: Good news! All Texas beaches have been downgraded from “High” to “Medium” or “Low” for illness-inducing bacteria levels. What does that mean? Check out our new article which explains, and shows how YOU can check day-to-day beach bacteria levels right from your phone or computer.

Read: Is Your Beach Safe? Here’s How To Check Bacteria Levels At Texas Beaches

UPDATE 6/25/2015: Latest testing reveals dangerously High Bacteria Counts in the beaches off Retalion Road in Galveston (Bolivar Beach); Ropes Park #2 and #3, Cole Park #2, and Port Aransas #6 in Corpus Christi; as well as Little Bay Ski Basin in Rockport. Some of the beaches that previously tested High have been downgraded to medium risk levels. Young children, and those with weak immune systems, open wounds, or other underlying conditions should consider avoiding beaches where elevated bacteria levels have been found. See below for updated details.

Well this is gross. Extensive rainfall and flooding caused the overflow of septic tanks and waste treatment plants all over the Greater Houston Area. Now, aaaallllll that yucky filth has washed downstream, into Galveston Bay and The Gulf of Mexico. In fact, officials have compared swimming at Galveston to swimming in “toilet water.” Thankfully, the situation is only temporary.

“What we want to do is give people the information so they can make their own decisions. For me, healthy adult, I go swimming all the time, I wouldn’t worry about it. But if I had open wounds or my immune system was compromised, I’d have second thoughts,” said Peter Davis, Chief of Beach Patrol.

Galveston Texas, as seen from the ISS. Photo by NASA / Chris Hadfield.

The bacteria in question is Enterococci, and it was found at 23 beaches in the Galveston area. Enterococcus often occurs naturally in the intestinal tract of humans and animals, so of course septic tanks and waste water from flooded treatment plants would be teaming with it.

Nevertheless, officials are not closing the beaches. Instead, they’re posting orange flags and having lifeguards caution beach goers to swim at their own risk. People with young children, or who have weaker immune systems or open wounds should definitely think twice before swimming.

  • HIGH = Over 104 cfu / 100 ml
  • MEDIUM = 35 – 104 cfu / 100 ml
  • LOW = 1 – 35 cfu / 100 ml


  • Retalion Road in Galveston (Bolivar Beach)
  • Ropes Park #2 and #3, Corpus Christi
  • Cole Park #2, Corpus Christi
  • Port Aransas #6 in Corpus Christi
  • Little Bay Ski Basin, Rockport


  • O’Neil Road, Galveston
  • Crystal Beach Road, Galveston
  • Boca Chica State Park #1, #2, #3, Brownsville
  • Beaumont Ave, Galveston
  • Gayle Street, Galveston
  • Stewart Beach #3, Galveston
  • Rockport Beach Park North, Rockport
  • 14th/15th Streets, Galveston
  • Beach Plaza Shopping Center, Galveston
  • Bob Hall Pier, Corpus Christi
  • Seawall #4, #6, Galveston
  • Stewart Beach #1, Galveston
  • 35th Street, Galveston
  • Spanish Grant Blvd., Galveston
  • University Beach, Corpus Christi
  • Poenisch Park, Corpus Christi
  • Bay Street, Freeport
  • 13 Mile Road, Galveston
  • CR750, Quintana
  • Rockport Saltwater Pool, Rockport
  • Cole Park #3, #4, Corpus Christi
  • Pleasure Pier / 27th St, Galveston
  • 18th / 19 Streets, Galveston
  • McGee Beach, Corpus Christi
  • Sargent Beach West, near Bay City
  • Fort Crockett Seawall Park, Galveston
  • 60th Street, Galveston
  • Laguna Shores, Corpus Christi
  • San Luis Resort, Galveston
  • 57th Street, Galveston
  • Palacios Pavilion West, Palacios
  • Nueces Bay Causeway #3, Corpus Christi
  • Deens Street, Galveston

For up-to-date bacteria levels, please check out this interactive map.

Previous Test Results as of June 23:


  • 39th Street, Galveston
  • Between 31st /32nd , Galveston
  • Nueces Bay Causeway, Corpus Christi
  • 11 Mile Road, Galveston
  • Corpus Christi Marina, Corpus Christi
  • Cole Park #2, #3, #6, Corpus Christi
  • Ropes Park #2, #3, Corpus Christi


  • Sylvan Beach North, Galveston
  • Texas City Dike, Galveston
  • Center Road, Galveston
  • Driftwood, Galveston
  • Beaumont Ave, Galveston
  • Stewart Beach #1, Galveston
  • Gayle Street, Galveston
  • 57th Street, Galveston
  • Spanish Grant Blvd., Galveston
  • Jetty Park #1, #2, #3, #4, Surfside Beach
  • Sargent Beach West, Sargent
  • Sargent Beach, Sargent
  • Church Street, Galveston
  • Gilmore Street Access, Galveston
  • Port Aransas #2, Corpus Christi
  • Barbados Road, Galveston
  • Alberdie Road – Emerald, Galveston
  • Crystal Beach Road, Galveston
  • O’Neil Road, Galveston
  • San Luis Resort, Galveston
  • Stewart Beach #3, Galveston
  • East Beach / Apffel Park #2, #4, Galveston
  • Pleasure Pier / 27th Street, Galveston
  • 14th / 15th Street, Galveston
  • 18th / 19th Street, Galveston
  • South Isle South, Galveston
  • 35th Street, Galveston
  • 16 Mile Road, Galveston
  • Bob Hall Pier / Seawall #2, #3, #4, #5, #8, Galveston
  • Beach Plaza Shopping Center, Galveston
  • University Beach, Corpus Christi
  • Poenisch Park, Corpus Christi
  • Boca Chica State Park #3, #2, #1, Brownsville
  • Fort Crockett Seawall Park, Galveston
  • 60th Street, Galveston
  • Quintana Beach County, Freeport
  • Cole Park #4, Corpus Christi
  • 8th Street, Freeport
  • 7 Mile Road, Galveston
  • McGee Beach #2, Corpus Christi
  • Hershey Beach, Galveston
  • 8 Mile Road, Galveston
  • North Beach – Gulfspray, Corpus Christi
  • Pirates Dive, Galveston
  • GISP #2, Galveston
  • Laguna Shores, Corpus Christi
  • Palacios Pavilion East, Palacios
  • CR750, Freeport
  • 13 Mile Road, Galveston
  • Rockport Saltwater Pool, Rockport
  • Palacios Pavilion West, Palacios
  • Retilon Road, Galveston

52 thoughts on “Galveston & Corpus Christi Beaches Test Positive for Dangerous Levels of Enterococci Bacteria

Add yours

  1. There are some crazy bacteria in those waters! My dad was infected with Vibrio (a flesh-eating bacteria) while swimming in Galveston a few years back. Thanks for this article.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Weird that you are stating they are high again but the Texas beach watch website says otherwise for Corpus. And the gentleman who had the issues in Galveston is a diabetic with a leg wound. Dangerous combination without throwing in the ocean and all it’s potential bacteria.


      1. Right, and zero of those are actually the Gulf of Mexico. That water is notorious for being garbage anytime of year.


  2. I just updated the beach list. A number of the Galveston Beaches were downgraded to “Medium” levels, but remain elevated. Additional beaches have been added to the “High” bacteria level … This makes 36 beaches in the Medium risk level and 6 in the High risk level. Be safe y’all! Thanks for reading 🙂


  3. Ive heard a report from POC area that 6 people in Victoria hospital from being infected around the waters there. Are there any samples from that area?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The closest I can see is Rockport, where levels are currently very high. However, the way I understand it, is that they test the waters periodically. It could be that there is contamination nearer Victoria that they simply haven’t picked up yet. Recent flooding has caused a lot of water contamination. I’ll do some research and let you know if I find anything.


      1. Thanks, specifically the area around Port O connor, the people affected were in waters around Pringle Lake and east of the Jetties on Matagorda Island.


  4. I found this.

    “Public health officials are urging residents in contact with flood waters from the Guadalupe River to check their vaccination record. Campbell said flood waters could be contaminated with feces from untreated sewage and other hazardous substances. Toxic chemicals could have entered the water as the river rose to more than 30 feet over the weekend.”

    More here:

    Guadalupe River dumps right into the Guadalupe Bay, right next to Pringle Lake and Matagorda Island. That article was published June 3, but depending on the type of bacteria or parasite they’re sick from, it could take a week or longer for symptoms to show.


  5. Where is the proof of these results. Port Aransas is not corpus Christi. So that is wrong info. And Cole park is not a beach its a park by the water. Nobody swims at that beach there’s no sand. Rope park is not a beach either. There’s a cliff right at the edge of that park , then the water begans. McGee beach is probably the only beach you got right. Nueces bay is not a beach either.


    1. The source link is in the article. We are reporting information. It doesn’t matter whether people swim, fish, boat, or just look at the water. If it’s contaminated, people should have access to that information so that they can make informed choices.


  6. My 17 year old cousin is in Texas Childrens right now..she got flesh eating bacteria three weeks ago after cutting her ankle while crabbing in Galveston where she fell in the water..she is recovering but has more surgeries to go


    1. I have gone to Texas beaches web site but can’t find the interactive link. Need to check on water quality today. October 8, 2015. Thx!

      Julie. Austin tx


  7. Here’s info from the Galveston County Health District:
    Galveston County Health District **You’ve probably heard about a case of Vibrio recently acquired at a Galveston beach, unscientifically referred to as “flesh eating bacteria.” Below are some facts that may be excluded from the reports and posts you’ve seen.
    -Vibrio is naturally occurring and frequently present in most salt and brackish water. It’s rare people get an infection from the bacteria. In fact, out of 6-million visitors to Galveston Island last year, fewer than ten cases of Vibrio infection were reported to the Galveston County Health District.
    -Consuming raw shellfish is the most common way people get Vibrio infection, according to CDC. To prevent such instances, we recommend people not eat raw shellfish.
    -Infections can also occur when the bacteria enters the body through open cuts or sores. If you have open cuts or sores, you should wrap them well in waterproof bandages or not swim in untreated water anywhere, anytime. If you’re not sure if you should be in untreated water, ask your doctor.
    -If a wound becomes red or swollen after swimming in untreated water, see your doctor immediately to receive proper treatment.
    -Most people recover from Vibrio infection without long-term complications. When Vibrio infection is severe, it’s common the affected person had serious preexisting health conditions, like diabetes or hepatitis.
    -There are currently fewer Vibrio cases in our area than recent years.
    **You’ve probably also heard about Texas Beach Watch advisories. These advisories are completely unrelated to Vibrio, despite what may be in said in stories and posts you’ve seen.
    -Texas Beach Watch tests for a common bacterial indicator called enterococcus. When the level of enterococcus is higher than the EPA recommendation for swimming, an advisory is issued for beach corresponding to that testing site.
    -There are 52 testing sites along Galveston, Bolivar and the Texas City Dike. There are more than a hundred testing sites along the entire Texas Gulf coast and even more in the United States.
    -Enterococcus can lead to infection in open cuts or sores. It can also cause stomach illness if ingested.
    -Most healthy people will not be affected by the bacteria. Those with preexisting health conditions that weaken their immune system are more susceptible.
    -If you have open cuts or sores, you should wrap them well in waterproof bandages or not swim in untreated water anywhere, anytime. If you’re not sure if you should be in untreated water, ask your doctor.
    -If a wound becomes red or swollen after swimming in untreated water, see your doctor immediately to receive proper treatment.
    -Advisories are indicated by signs on the affected beach, on two websites ( and, via an e-mail distribution list (sign up at and news release when there is an abnormally high number.
    -Texas Beach Watch advisories are common along recreational coastal waters after periods of heavy rain and typically last a day or so.
    ***Bottom line: There is nothing currently out of the ordinary about the water at Galveston beaches. Stories and posts that suggest otherwise are doing the public a disservice by creating an unnecessary level of concern. This is detrimental to us all because it devalues alerts we issue when there are actual increased public health threats.


      1. May I ask when exactly last year? Because I went to Corpus Christi at the end of last April for military training. I went to Padre Island a few times and less than a week after ariving home, I was hospitalized for 3 days with meningitis. Not saying it’s related, but no one every figured out how I got it


  8. This Is Why People Need To Clean The Dang Waters! No One Cares For The World Anymore, And If No One Cares For It, No One Can Have Fun In It!


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