LCRA protects 934 acres of Matagorda wetlands from future development
Conservation easement with Colorado River Land Trust ensures permanent protection of habitat along mid-Texas coast
Jan. 13, 2021
AUSTIN, Texas – The Lower Colorado River Authority has donated a conservation easement on 934 acres of critical Matagorda wetlands to permanently protect the land from future development.
The conserved wetlands are part of LCRA’s Matagorda Bay Nature Park along the mid-Texas Gulf Coast. The conservation easement held by the Colorado River Land Trust will allow LCRA to retain ownership of the property while ensuring the land will be protected as natural open space forever.
“We want to guarantee these important wetlands will never be developed,” said Phil Wilson, LCRA general manager. “We have no intention of selling the land, but we took this step to ensure that no matter what happens in the future, this land will remain preserved in its natural state for the people of Texas.”
The land will remain part of the 1,333-acre nature park, and LCRA will continue to use the wetlands for recreation and education. The park’s welcome center and RV park are in a different area of the property and will remain available to park guests.
Jeff Crosby, executive director of the Colorado River Land Trust, said the tract is one of the last large, intact coastal ecosystems on the Matagorda Peninsula.
“Working with partners like LCRA, who see the value of conservation and land stewardship, ensures the natural resources we Texans depend on are protected,” Crosby said. “The Texas coast is unique, and the conservation of these wetlands, where the Colorado River empties into the Gulf of Mexico, provides a tremendous opportunity to protect a diverse and productive habitat.”
The 934-acre tract lies within the mid-coast barrier islands and includes extensive tidal marshes, barrier grasslands and tidal flats, as well as habitat that supports a diverse population of plants and animals in the region. In addition to helping protect the region’s natural resources, the conservation easement also will help protect nursey habitat for shrimp, crabs and other crustaceans; oyster beds and other mollusks; stopover and wintering habitat for migratory waterfowl; nesting and foraging habitat for resident waterfowl; emergent tidal marshes; seagrass beds; and the beach and dune system.
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.
About Colorado River Land Trust
Colorado River Land Trust is a nonprofit accredited land trust that works to conserve land and water resources in the Colorado River basin to benefit future generations. For more information, visit coloradoriverlandtrust.org.
Clara Tuma 512–578–3292
Colorado River Land Trust:
Jeff Crosby 512-730-5160