The Texas coast is a great place for beachcombing. The aptly named Stephen P. Leatherman, a.k.a. “Dr. Beach,” is the director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University. He’s spent a great deal of time studying the Texas coast and combing it, too.
“The Texas coast becomes a collection for a lot of things, both good and bad,” he says. “Anything that people throw off a drilling rig or off a boat is going to end up on your shore.” Here are his tips for finding sharks’ teeth, fossils and shells, and sea glass:
- Consult a tide chart beforehand. Shoot for combing around peak low tide.
- If possible, avoid the sun by combing early in the morning or after 4 p.m.
- Don’t forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, plastic bags (for moist objects), sunscreen, and a backpack with food and water. You’re going to be doing lots of walking.
- Helpful tools include a magnifying glass, small shovel, a bucket, and a metal detector.
- Scour beaches where there are fewer people and more room (in Galveston, avoid the pocket beaches along the Seawall and go farther west).
- Keep an open mind; continue walking.