Summer has arrived, the sun is out, and all you want to do is grab your swim trunks and head to the beach! The last thing you want to do is get there and find out it’s dirty and not the best place for a swim. One beach in particular, Galveston Beach, is dirty. Why is that, and what causes it to be a dirty beach?

Galveston Beach is dirty due to these reasons:

  • Sediment that runs into it
  • Shallow shorelines
  • Bacteria caused by rainfall
  • Littering. 

While some of these causes can be fixed by enacting stricter rules, many causes are due to nature and cannot be changed.

Even though the beach has a dirty outward appearance to it, many experts agree that Galveston beach is completely safe to swim in. Keep reading to learn about the factors that cause the dirty appearance and why experts still insist it is safe to swim in.

Why is Galveston Beach So Dirty?

Galveston Beach has a dirty appearance due to many natural conditions that Mother Nature has imposed on it, and some man-made conditions as well.

The beaches waters and land has a dirty look to it due to:

  • Sediment that runs into it from the Mississippi River: Causing the water to look dirty and brown, when it is really the sediment that beach goers are seeing.
  • Shallow Shorelines: Which enhance the brownish look of the water caused by the sediment, since this brings the sediment right up to the top of the water line.
  • Bacteria Caused by Rainfall: Which not only gives the water a discolored, dirty look, but also gives the beach it’s bad reputation as being unsafe to swim.
  • Littering caused by visitors: Which gives this already seemingly dirty looking beach, an even worse reputation when it comes to sanitation and health safety.

Now, let’s go into whether or not it’s safe to swim in this beach for these reasons below.

Is Galveston Beach Dangerous to Swim In?

Although the appearance may make you feel otherwise, Galveston Beach is actually safe to swim in. As we talked about above, the dirty appearance is caused by sediment and the shallow shorelines. Not pollution as many tourists’ fear. 

However, there are some factors you should take into account on when you should swim in Galveston waters or not.

Avoid Swimming In Galveston After Heavy Rainfall

Experts do recommend avoiding the beach right after heavy rainfall as this is when the bacteria in the water is at its highest. You especially need to avoid the water if you have deep cuts that could potentially get infected if you go swimming. Aside from this however, the brown water will not harm you and you don’t need to be worried about it. 

You May Not Want to Swim In Heavily Polluted Areas

Littering on the beach may be the bigger problem here as it causes unsanitary conditions to spend time in, and can be harmful to animals that inhabit the beach. 

Let’s be honest, who wants to put a beach towel down and lounge on the sand with someone else’s empty beer can rolling around a few steps away! There is also the potential danger of having little kids running around, and risk them slipping and falling on the litter on the floor. 

Littering not only harms the tourists visiting the beach, it also can be harmful to the furry residents that live there. Animals often get stuck in empty plastic, cans, and other waste. Or they eat something they aren’t supposed to and get themselves sick.

Avoid Swimming If You Have Wounds to Prevent Bacterial Infections

You can also make sure to avoid the water when you have any open wounds to prevent any infections. If you’re still uneasy about the bacteria in the water, you can do research before visiting to set your mind at ease. 

Many local labs will test the water periodically to see how high the bacteria level is. So, you can check with them to see what bacteria levels are currently at before planning a visit. 

What Can We Do to Make Galveston Beach Less Dirty??

While we may not be able to change the color of the water, as that is caused by nature, we can help clean up the beach itself. 

Small steps such as setting up more trash bins for guests to throw away their trash, and making sure that all trash is properly disposed of is a huge step forward. This will instantly make the beach a much cleaner and more sanitary place to spend time at. 

Taking steps to dial back on littering may be one big way of cleaning up the beach and taking care of everyone who visits it!


Galveston Beach may look very dirty from an appearance standpoint, but health wise you really don’t have to worry about swimming in its waters. Simple steps can be taken by tourists to control littering, and keep the beach clean. They can also do their research before taking a swim if they are worried about bacteria levels. 

As for its dirty waters, this is simply a way of nature and can’t be changed! If it’s crystal blue waters you’re searching for, this may be off putting at first, but on a sweltering hot day, it’ll still do the trick to keep you cool!