Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program
CBBEP has identified land acquisition as a great first step towards conserving at risk lands. Since starting on land acquisition efforts in 2002, we have worked to acquire either fee simple title or conservation easements for more than 12,000 acres of freshwater marsh, forested wetlands, mudflats, riparian corridors, and native upland habitat for conservation management. The highlight of CBBEP’s land conservation and management efforts is the Nueces Delta Preserve, a 10,500 acre property near Odem that not only protects a variety of habitats from future development, but serves as a home for our educational program, and is the site for various monitoring and freshwater inflow projects, as well as wildlife and habitat restoration projects.
The u.s. Environmental protection agency's (epa) national estuary program was established by congress in 1987 to improve the quality of estuaries of national importance. The clean water act section 320 directs epa to develop plans for attaining and maintaining water quality in an estuary. This includes protection of public water supplies and protection and propagation of a balanced indigenous population of shellfish, fish, and wildlife that allows recreational activities, in and on water, requires that control of point and nonpoint sources of pollution to supplement existing controls of pollution. In several cases, more than one state is participating in a national estuary program. Each program establishes a comprehensive conservation and management plan to meet the goals of section 320.
The texas coastal management program (cmp) seeks to ensure the long-term environmental and economic health of the texas coast through management of the state's coastal natural resource areas. The coastal coordination council is a public/private council chaired by the texas land commissioner, manages the cmp, on behalf of the council, the general land office (glo), awards approximately 2.2 million annually in grants, reviews federal actions in the texas coastal zone to ensure consistency with the goals and policies of the cmp, support protection of natural habitats and wildlife, and provides baseline data on the health of gulf waters.
The coastal program is one of the u.s. Fish and wildlife service's most effective resources for restoring and protecting fish and wildlife habitat on public and privately-owned lands. Funding from u.s. Fish & wildlife provides assistance for habitat restoration and protection in the coastal bend area, including the implementation of prescribed fire to enhance habitats for attwater's prairie chicken, aplomado falcon, whooping crane, and associated grassland and migratory birds that will benefit from prescribed fire.