From fishing, beaching, and kiteboarding, how the Texas City dike has evolved

TEXAS CITY (KTRK) -- For more than 100 years, the Texas City dike has been a part of the community, but its purpose has evolved over the years.

City leaders said the dike was created to protect the regions petrochemical companies.

"The port of Texas City is the largest petrochemical port in the United States," Texas City Community Development Director, George Fuller explained. "They have about 1,100 ships, 4,300 barges and about 38 bursts that comes so it's a very busy port."

The 5.3 mile structure is more than a barrier for oil companies. It's also a place where families can come and enjoy the water.

"It's the world's largest fishing pier," Fuller said. "We have a mile of beach. Five boat ramps."

The pier is perfect for Tackle Time's annual fishing tournament that raises money to support activities for the rest of the year.

"We help with the city wide Easter egg hunt," Texas City's Jaycees' president, Tamara Beene explained. "We help with the Texas City ISD foundation for the future duck derby. We help families during Christmas with the elementary schools."

Although the pandemic forced other tournaments to cancel, Tackle Time moved forward. "We've had a lot of people tell us how grateful they are that we're still out here," Beene said.

The dike is also popular for another sport, Kite Boarding. "One thing the fisherman don't like is the wind, and we have a ton of it in Texas City," Houston Kiteboarding owner, Phil Midler said.

Midler said kiteboarders flock to the dike. "For beginners, I swear to you this is the best place in America to learn," Midler explained. "I swear to you. It's amazing."

The dike may have started as a barrier in 1915, but in 2020, it's evolved into a structure for many activities.
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