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Kelsey Kaiser

Float

Sea Rim State Park, located along the Texas-Louisiana line and bordering the Gulf of Mexico, is popular for beach camping and swimming, yet, most of the park’s four-thousand acres are wetlands. After being wiped out by Hurricanes Rita and Ike in quick succession, the Park was looking to draw visitors back by offering a unique primitive camping experience, as well as giving environmentalists and biologists a base from which to conduct ecological research.
Platform Flats, the site chosen for Float, is a vast, thin, and astoundingly flat environment, rich in wildlife and home to a small group of alligators. A five mile round trip kayak trek from the launch. At its narrowest the access channel measures only five feet. As such, each component built was less than four feet wide. As part of primitive camping, visitors are required to take out everything they bring in, including human waste. Thus, the tower conceals a toilet area that also helps kayakers find their way to the platform. Clad in a full privacy screen of steel and treated lumber up to six feet high, its upper portion is porous, allowing wind to pass through the tower and prevent overturning during storms.
The campsite is designed to hold a four-person tent, complete with metal bar tie downs, has two kayak entries to help visitors move easily onto the deck without need to get into the water, and is built to deter alligators from – 2 1/2 foot overhang with an additional railing to prevent getting a foothold on the deck.