Galveston Island Beaches Conditions

For any questions on the current conditions, ask a lifeguard or park representative.

Look For The Flags

  • Green Flag: Indicates that conditions are calm. Swim with care.
  • Yellow Flag: Indicates caution should be used when entering any body of water. This flag is flown for normal conditions to remind swimmers to stay alert.
  • Red Flag: Flown when conditions are determined to be out of the ordinary, such as presence of strong wind, strong current or large surf. Adult swimmers should stay in water no more than waist deep and non-swimmers and children should be kept along the surf line.
  • Purple Flag: Indicates a potential problem with jellyfish, Portuguese man-o-war, stingrays or other marine life that could be a hazard for swimmers. Purple flags will be used in combination with other flags.
  • Orange Flag: Indicates there is an environmental warning for air and/or water quality. Ask the Lifeguard for more details. Orange pennant flags will be used in combination with other flags.

Real-Time Beach Watch Advisories

The Galveston County Health District, in conjunction with the Texas General Land Office (GLO), monitors recreational coastal waters for elevated levels of the bacterial indicator enterococcus. A beach water advisory is issued for the beach adjacent to testing site when water quality standards for the bacteria are exceeded. The Galveston County Beach Watch program samples at 52 monitoring stations along Galveston Island, the Bolivar Peninsula and one site on the Texas City Dike.

Samples are taken from the 52 sites on a weekly basis and tested for enterococcus. An increased level is a common occurrence that lasts approximately 24 hours after heavy rainfalls and flooding. An advisory is issued informing the public that swimming is not recommended when the bacteria level is elevated. Advisories are indicated with a sign on the affected beach, on this website and the Texas Beach Watch website. When an advisory is issued, the affected beach is NOT closed. An advisory is simply issued to inform the public of the elevated bacteria level so people can make an informed choice about swimming in the affected waters. Once elevated bacteria levels are detected, water samples are taken daily until the levels return to normal.

Click here or on the map below for beach watch advisories in real-time.

Island Time

Check current beach conditions in Galveston throughout the Texas coast with Texas Beach Watch.

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