Texas Historical Commission
In April 2017, archaeologists from Coastal Environments, Inc. (CEI) conducted intensive archaeological survey with shovel testing in accordance with Council of Texas Archeologists (CTA) and Texas Historical Commission (THC) guidelines on approximately 131 acres of land at I.B. Magee Park for the Nueces County Coastal Parks System in advance of proposed improvements to the park. The park is located along the shoreline in Port Aransas, Texas at the northern end of Mustang Island, immediately south of the University of Texas Marine Science Institute and the Corpus Christi Ship Channel, also known as Aransas Pass.
Because the proposed improvements may result in impacts to Nueces County property, the project falls under the Texas Administrative Code (13 TAC 26.20). The investigation involved pedestrian survey including shovel testing, photography, basic archival research, and report preparation in accordance with THC and Council of Texas Archeologists (CTA) standards. The Area of Potential Effects (APE) as originally defined in the research design covered 154 acres and included areas in the western portion of the park that were later excluded from the APE based on verbal statements from the Director of Coastal Parks for Nueces County, Scott Cross. This area consists of heavily vegetated, tall sandy dunes. Mr. Cross stated that no impacts are planned in the area of dunes in the western portion of the park, and he expressed understanding that if that portion of the park was to be excluded from the current survey effort, any future impacts to that area would likely require archaeological investigation. The area of dunes thus excluded from investigation totaled approximately 23 acres.
No archaeological sites were recorded as a result of this survey, and historical records indicate the portions of the park intended for improvement have already undergone extensive modification. Based on these results, no further archaeological investigation is recommended. Jennifer Hatchett Kimbell served as Principal Investigator (TAC Permit #7982), and Heather Perez served as field assistant.
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