Aransas National Wildlife Refuge – Austwell TX


Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is a 114,657-acre, federally protected area at San Antonio Bay on the coast of Texas. The refuge was established by Executive Order 7784 on December 31, 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as the Aransas Migratory Waterfowl Refuge. The name was changed in 1939. It was created under the Bureau of Biological Survey and is administered today by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (created in 1940 from previous agencies).

The refuge was set aside to protect the breeding grounds of migratory birds and the vanishing wildlife of coastal Texas. In particular, Aransas was the focal point of the national and worldwide effort to rescue the Whooping Crane from extinction when only a handful of birds remain alive. 

In October 1938, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Company 880 established a camp south of Austwell, Texas to work on the newly established refuge. CCC crews built roads, ditches, fire breaks, and the residence facilities for the refuge. They constructed part of the spillway for Burgentine Lake, which serves as a major resting area for migratory waterfowl. They also graded the road to Austwell.

Source notes

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Wikipedia: (, accessed February 12, 2018.

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge: (, accessed February 12, 2018.

CCC Camps Texas: (, accessed February 12, 2018.

Douglas Brinkley, Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America. New York: Harper. 2011.

Project originally submitted by Larry Moore on February 12, 2018.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

1 Wild Life Circle
Austwell, TX

Location notes: South of Austwell, Texas on Hwy 2040

Coordinates: 28.2445239, -96.85655880000002

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