San Patricio County (Q-17) is on the lower Gulf Coast in the Coastal Prairies region, bordered on the north by Bee County, on the northeast by Refugio County, on the east by Aransas County, on the southeast by Nueces County and Corpus Christi Bay, and on the west by Jim Wells and Live Oak counties. The county's center lies at 29?03' north latitude and 97?33' west longitude. Sinton, the county seat, is just northeast of the center of the county sixteen miles north of Corpus Christi. San Patricio County covers 693 square miles of generally flat land with tall prairie grasses spotted by mesquite and live oak trees. Most of the county lies in the coastal plain, but in the far western area the surface is rolling with some caliche hills; elevations range from sea level to 200 feet. Soils consist of light to dark loam on the surface, with clayey subsoils. The area is drained by the Nueces River on the south and the Aransas River on the north, with Chiltipin Creek draining the north central portions. San Patricio County has a mild, moist climate, with an average annual rainfall of thirty-one inches. Temperatures range from an average low of 46? F in January to an average high of 93? in July. The average growing season lasts 303 days. The area supports a wide variety of wildlife species, including deer, javelina, rabbit, raccoon, and coyote, as well as wild fowl such as duck, geese, crane, and turkey. The Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation and Refuge supports research of native fauna. In 1982, 93 percent of the county's land was in farms and ranches. About 68 percent of agricultural income derived from crops, particularly sorghum grain, cotton, and corn, and lesser acreages of vegetables and feed crops. Livestock, especially cattle and hogs, also contributed to the local economy. Natural resources include industrial sand, caliche, natural gas, and petroleum. In 1982, 37,904,000,000 cubic feet of gas-well gas, 3,648,000 barrels of petroleum, and 4,800,000 cubic feet of casinghead gas were produced in San Patricio; caliche was mined in the western part of the county.


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