STS075-723-015 Corpus Christi, Aransas Pass, Aransas Bay, and Copano Bay, Texas, U.S.A. March 1996 The coastal area northeast of Corpus Christi is featured in this north-northwest-looking, low-oblique photograph. Apparent are many shallow, sediment-laden bays, some only 3 to 4 feet (1 meter) deep, that are former river mouths inundated by rising sea levels since the last ice age. The bays are rich in marine life and host large populations of winter birds that descend yearly on Aransas National Wildlife Refuge (upper right). The exquisite whopping cranes, which are gradually fighting their way back from extinction, winter at the refuge. Viewing in a northeast arc from Corpus Christi Bay (bottom left) are Copano Bay, Aransas Bay, and Saint Charles Bay. Discernible south to north are the barrier islands of Mustang, east of Corpus Christi; Saint Joseph; and extreme western Matagorda. The Gulf of Mexico is apparent.