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Seabrook is a city in Harris County in the U.S. state of Texas, with some water surface area located within Chambers County. The population was 11,952 at the 2010 census. Several fish markets line the city’s waterfront, while antique shops and bed and breakfast establishments are found in the city’s downtown area. The city is home to several miles of trails, which connect multiple city parks to each other.
Seabrook is known for its fish markets on Waterfront Drive where resident shrimpers and fishermen bring in their catches daily. Besides bordering the bay, the city encompasses marshes through which runoff from inland fields drain to the bay. The piece of land was purchased by Seabrook W. Sydnor in 1895. In March 1903, the Seabrook Company of Houston created a layout of the proposed Seabrook Town site. The new town attracted fishermen, merchants and even a few residents.
The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 demolished the local school, but by 1905 it was restored and was run by three teachers who taught 100 students. The local schools became part of the Clear Creek Independent School District in 1947. The population of Seabrook rose from 200 to 560 before the Great Depression, but fell to 200 in 1936, and remained at 400 from 1940 until 1947, when the Albert and Ernest Fay shipyard opened. It could handle 150 boats, and opened up jobs and is the main cause of the population increase. Despite damage from Hurricane Carla, a bridge linking Seabrook and Kemah was completed in 1961. With the opening of the bridge and the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Seabrook’s population rose to approximately 6,000.
In 1986, the decision was made to start the construction of a fixed-span bridge that was tall enough for sailboats to pass under. After this bridge was finished, Highway 146 was linked all the way from Galveston to Texas State Highway 225. This spurred a further increase in the population of Seabrook to its present level of nearly 12,000 people. Seabrook’s residents are quite diversified and are employed in a variety of professional positions. Quite a few residents have ties to the chemical and oil industry as well as the NASA space program.
A historic downtown area was constructed in the early 20th century and it stands today, with many locals running their businesses. Most are antique shops or bed and breakfast places.
Seabrook is host to the Texas Concours d’Elegance “Keels & Wheels” classic car and boat show held each year the first weekend in May at Lakewood Yacht Club. The Seabrook Festival of the Arts is held annually on the grounds of Seabrook City Hall and Community House at First Street, where artists exhibit paintings, sculpture, textiles, jewelry, wood works, photography and musical performances by Texas musicians. The festival is sponsored by the City of Seabrook in cooperation with the Art Consortium of the Texas Gulf Coast.
The goal of the Pelican Path Project has been to improve Seabrook’s identity as a community and one of the largest migratory paths in North America, and a bird sanctuary to both the brown and white pelicans. The project also displays connectedness of the city by its many bed and breakfasts, close family values, available water attractions and its unique downtown of small businesses.
Most businesses in Seabrook have purchased a pelican from Pelican Project and have customized it to represent their type of business, as well as the city of Seabrook. This project has not only attracted tourism to Seabrook, but united the businesses of the city. Artists from all over Texas have participated in this project, which has attracted future plans for more cultural art projects in Seabrook.
Seabrook trail system
There are 8 miles (13 km) of continuous trails from Hammer Street to Galveston Bay at Pine Gully Park, where the Lucky Trails Marathon is run in March. The trail system was built from crushed granite, which connects most of the city’s parks, including Robinson and Pine Gully Parks. The trail system traverses habitats for a wide variety of wildlife.
In addition to the city being designated as a bird sanctuary, the city includes four sites on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. The only other site in the Clear Lake area on this Texas trail is the Armand Bayou Nature Center.
Pupils in Seabrook attend schools in Clear Creek Independent School District. The community is within the Board of Trustees District 1, represented by Robert Allan Davee as of 2008.
Most Seabrook residents are zoned to James F. Bay Elementary School, which was originally known as Seabrook Elementary but was renamed in 1969 to honor the principal who had served for many years. Some residents are zoned to Ed White Elementary School in El Lago, which was built in 1965 and was named after Ed White, the famous astronaut who died in the fire working on the Apollo mission.
All Seabrook residents are zoned to Seabrook Intermediate School (Seabrook). Seabrook Intermediate also houses the Science Magnet Program, which offers an enriched Science curriculum with many outside science activities. This program is an application-process program and the students accepted are gifted in the field of science. Seabrook Intermediate also houses the Living Materials Center, which is the home for over 60 species of animals. The Living Materials Center is available to all students in the school and throughout the district.
All Seabrook residents are zoned to Clear Falls High School in League City. Residents were previously zoned to Clear Lake High School in Clear Lake City, Houston.
The Harris County Public Library Evelyn Meador Branch serves the community. The library opened on June 26, 1988. The original planning of the library started in 1985 when five Seabrook residents met Harris County Commissioner Jim Fonteno. The library suffered enough damage from Hurricane Ike that it was completely rebuilt. The new, larger library reopened on June 28, 2011.
Harris County Transit previously operated public transportation in Seabrook. The Seabrook Post Office is located at 1600 Second Street.
The Seabrook Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) provides fire protection and medical first responder services to the city. The FD operates out of two stations and also has a fire boat docked at a local boat marina. SVFD is staffed entirely by volunteer firefighters. Equipment operated by SVFD includes:
- 3 engines
- 1 tower truck
- 1 rescue truck
- 1 rehab truck
- 2 utility pick-up trucks
- 3 chief vehicles
- 1 fire boat
- 2 rescue boats
Harris County Youth Village, a juvenile detention facility, is located in Pasadena, but has a Seabrook postal address.