Ocean Trust Receives Seventh Conservation Award
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) in late April recognized Ocean Trust with its top environmental honor, the 2008 Texas Environmental Excellence Award, for restoring a stretch of desolate wetlands known as the Bahia Grande.
Ocean Trust and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge System began the Bahia Grande partnership in 2000. The partnership sponsored a research and restoration plan that included intentionally flooding 10,000 acres.
Construction of the Brownsville Ship Channel and State Highway 48 between the '30s and '50s gradually cut off the 6,800-acre basin's water supply, prompting massive erosion. Ocean Trust built greenhouses to help restore native plants and mangroves needed to protect the low-lying coastal lands.
Ocean Trust also completed construction of internal channels connecting three large basins within Bahia Grande in 2007, and is leading final stages of restoration this year and next.
Ocean Trust has also received the EPA Gulf Guardian Award 2007; Coastal America Award 2006; USFWS Wetlands Conservation Award 2006; Department of Interior Cooperative Conservation Award 2005; NOAA Environmental Hero Award 2004 and Seafood Business Person of the Year 2000.
The TCEQ annually presents the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards to environmental projects across the state that demonstrate excellence in resource conservation, waste reduction and pollution prevention. For more information visit www.teea.org.