Boca Chica State Park
|Boca Chica State Park|
|Location||Cameron County, Texas, USA|
|Area||1,054.92 acres (427 ha)|
|Governing body||Texas Parks and Wildlife Department|
Boca Chica State Park is a Texas state park located in the Boca Chica Subdelta of the Rio Grande near Brownsville in southeastern Cameron County, Texas in the United States. The park was acquired and opened in May 1994.
The area was granted by the State of Tamaulipas to Ygnacio Trevino on January 24, 1829, as part of the Potrero de San Martin Grant. (Brazos Island was granted separately and earlier by the King of Spain.) A road was built down Brazos Island, across Boca Chica Bay to the Rio Grande in 1846. To cross Boca Chica Bay, General Zachary Taylor built a floating bridge[when?] to transport military supplies. Some of the cypress pilings still stand north of a monument.
In 1846, General Ulysses S. Grant crossed here returning from the fighting in Mexico. In 1847, Robert E. Lee crossed the tract similarly several times. On September 6, 1864, Colonel H. M. Day and troops marched from Brazos Santiago across Boca Chica Bay to White's Ranch, opposite Burrito (Tamaulipas), attacked Confederate forces under Captain Richard Taylor and forced their retreat to Brownsville. On September 9, Lieutenant Daniel Showalter attacked federal forces at Palmito Hill. Colonel Day and a Mexican force drove them back again to Brownsville. On May 11, 1865, 300 Union soldiers marched down Brazos Island, across Boca Chica Bay, and attacked White's ranch the next morning. Confederate forces counterattacked at Palmito Hill and the federal troops were driven back to Boca Chica Bay. The Battle at Palmito Hill was the last of the American Civil War.
In July 2007 Texas Parks & Wildlife entered into a 50 year lease agreement with the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and is now part of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
Activities permitted on the adjacent Del Mar and Boca Chica Beach include picnicking, wading, swimming, birding, natural history observation, camping, fishing (with a license), and surfing. All are subject to disruption by offshore storms at any season and from June through November by tropical storms and hurricanes. SpaceX recently announced that they would build an orbital rocket launch facility adjacent to the State Park. Construction began in September 2014.