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Boca Chica Village, Texas facts for kids

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Boca Chica Village
Map of Boca Chica Village and the surrounding area
Map of Boca Chica Village and the surrounding area
Country  United States
State Texas Texas
County  Cameron
Kennedy Shores 1967
Kopernik Shores 1975
3 ft (0.9 m)
 • Total 26
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
Bridges Veterans Bridge, B&M Bridge

Boca Chica Village, formerly Kennedy Shores, Kopernik Shores, is a small, unincorporated community in Cameron County, Texas, United States. It was formed in the late 1960s, and is still extant as of 2021, although the village proper has changed greatly since 2018 as industrial business enterprises came to purchase much of the land of the village. It lies 20 miles (32 km) east of the City of Brownsville on the Boca Chica peninsula, and forms part of the Brownsville–Harlingen–Raymondville and the Matamoros–Brownsville metropolitan areas. It is situated on Texas State Highway 4, immediately south of the South Bay lagoon, and is located about 2 mi (3.2 km) northwest of the mouth of the Rio Grande.

In 2014, the village was chosen as the location for the construction of a control facility for the SpaceX South Texas launch site, while the launch site itself was slated to be built just 2 miles further east, adjacent to Boca Chica State Park on the Gulf Coast. Flight testing—and even more frequent ground testing—of prototype rocket vehicles and rocket engines began in 2019 and has continued into 2021.

In March 2021, Elon Musk announced plans to incorporate a new city to be called Starbase, Texas in the area. Starbase is expected to include the existing Boca Chica Village, the SpaceX test site and launch site, and more of the surrounding Boca Chica area.


The town was founded as Kennedy Shores in 1967 by John Caputa, a Chicagoan property developer, and was initially aimed at working class Polish migrants. Shortly after building a community of about 30 ranch-style houses, the settlement was devastated by Hurricane Beulah later that year, which destroyed the restaurant and public utility systems. Electricity was restored, but many of the homes did not have potable water even decades later.

In 1975, local resident Stanley Piotrowicz was voted in as town mayor, who renamed the village Kopernik Shores after Nicolaus Copernicus, and attempted to have the village recognised as an incorporated community, but this was denied. In 1990 and 2000, the population was 26 people.

As of 2008, only six people were permanently living in the village, and that number was unchanged in 2016, with an average of approximately 20 seasonal residents.

In 2012, Californian space exploration company SpaceX named Boca Chica as a possible location for the construction of their future private commercial launch site, which subsequently became the competition leader, with the potential to bring some US$80 million of investment to the area. In August 2014 SpaceX announced that they had selected the Texas Boca Chica location for the new spaceport.

Boca Chica Beach

Boca Chica beach is a sandy peninsula separated from Mexico by the Rio Grande River. The State of Texas owns land on Boca Chica which is designated Boca Chica State Park, although there are no park facilities on this land.

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