Ecologists team up to buy Texas bayside ranch

August 21, 2014
This July 30, 2014 photo provided by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department shows fringe marshes along Powderhorn Lake in Texas. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is leading the purchase of the 17,300-square-foot Powderhorn Ranch 75 miles northeast of Corpus Christi. It is largely financed by a fund created by BP and Transocean in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (AP Photo/Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Earl Nottingham)

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and partners have announced the purchase of a sprawling southeast Texas ranch with funds put aside after the BP oil spill.

The Powderhorn Ranch, 75 miles northeast of Corpus Christi, will be converted into a .

The $37.7 million purchase represents the biggest spend on Texas land for conservation. The agency says an additional $13 million will be spent on habitat restoration and an endowment.

The cost is largely covered by a BP and Transocean fund created in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

The property contains thousands of acres of freshwater wetlands, , tidal flats, oyster beds and live Oak.

Executive director Carter Smith says it "plays an important role in protecting the integrity" of Matagorda Bay.

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