Cattail Marsh Wetlands

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One of the most diverse ecosystems luring in terrestrial and aquatic wildlife

Beaumont’s Cattail Marsh is a natural address for some of Southeast Texas’s most eye-catching waterfowl. In fact, some 320 species of birds call Cattail Marsh home each year, proving that birds of a feather do not necessarily flock together — a huge plus for the birders among us.

Around the marsh are miles of gravel levee roads that have long served as prime bird-watching real estate.  With the addition of a boardwalk and new Wetlands Education Center, the marsh is now a must stop for the hard-core birder, as well as anyone who appreciates the sight of a snow-white egret gracefully landing in the water to rest. 

The boardwalk puts nature lovers face to face with wildlife, extending 520 feet across the water. It offers two connected and covered gazebo-shaped view platforms — complete with benches — that serve as protection from the summer sun or a winter shower. The vibrant, Crayola box of nature’s hues are on full display here: from the orange-beak of the black-bellied whistling duck to the mottled browns and tans of the barred owl and the splash of lemon on the yellow-rumped warbler. The marsh is also home to the seven species of swallows — an unusual attribute not found in most wetlands locations — and is a host site for the Great Texas Birding Classic held each spring. The biggest birding tournament in the U.S., it raises funds for conservation projects.  

Of course, birds aren’t the only residents of Cattail Marsh. Keep your eye out for muskrats, bullfrogs, turtles (snapping and otherwise), and alligators.

  • Latitude: 30.02489, Longitude: -94.14867
  • Background: Cattail Marsh was constructed in 1993 by the Beaumont Public Utilities Department as part of the city’s wastewater treatment system. The wetlands naturally filter out toxins and clean the wastewater before feeding it back into the bayou. The innovative solution won not just the approval of environmentalists from across the state but also the appreciation of the wildlife that subsequently moved in.
  • Location: The marsh is tucked away behind Beaumont’s Tyrrell Park. As you drive past the sign welcoming you to Cattail Marsh, you may not realize that you’re entering an internationally renowned bird-watching destination. Perhaps it’s this quiet, low-key setting that makes it such an ideal home for so many birds — whether they are merely visiting for migrating season or call the wetlands home year round. Throughout the day, the water levels shift from compartment to compartment— there are eight in total — so depending on when you visit, you’ll be treated to shore birds, wading birds and waterfowl to view.
  • Did You Know: Cattail Marsh is listed in Texas Highways magazine as one of the 10 things to do while in Beaumont. Ready to see for yourself? Check out the live webcam at Cattail Marsh to see what's going on now.


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Birding Checklist comparing 7 of 28 Great Texas Coastal Birding Trails within a 40 mile radius.

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Beaumont is on two migratory flyways & over 350 bird species are spotted around Beaumont annually.

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Enjoy the live stream from Cattail Marsh Wetlands Boardwalk!

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