Katy Prairie Conservancy and climate partners announce $7 million in funding

By R. Hans Miller | News Editor
Posted 5/11/21

The Katy Prairie Conservancy, a nature preserve just north of the city of Katy, has announced that it, along with its partner organizations, has received a $7 million pledge of funding from the …

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Katy Prairie Conservancy and climate partners announce $7 million in funding

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The Katy Prairie Conservancy, a nature preserve just north of the city of Katy, has announced that it, along with its partner organizations, has received a $7 million pledge of funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service through the agency’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program. The award will support the Texas Coastal Prairie Initiative which aims to conserve large, contiguous areas of coastal prairie through the work of the conservancy and its 21 project partners.

“We are so grateful for this award that will allow KPC and its partners to work with private landowners to permanently protect and enhance coastal prairie, including working cattle ranches, farmland, and natural areas,” said President and Chief Executive Officer of the Katy Prairie Conservancy Mary Anne Piacentini.

The RCPP is a program that addresses regional natural resource concerns and enables partners to implement solutions to conservation challenges, KPC said in a news release. The region the conservancy is in has seen rapid population growth which has resulted in country farmlands, fields and prairies being converted into suburban sprawl, which eliminates thousands of acres of natural land for wildlife to prosper, the conservancy’s press release said.

“This initiative will help KPC and its partners address one of our region’s greatest natural resource concerns – the disappearance of coastal prairie,” explained Vice President and Legal Counsel for the Katy Prairie Conservancy Elisa Donovan. “After identifying critical coastal prairie habitat zones that are under threat of development or fragmentation, voluntary conservation easements with local landowners will be used to permanently protect these key conservation lands. The Texas Coastal Prairie Initiative will also develop a recommended suite of native coastal prairie management practices to assist area landowners.”

The conservancy’s partners in this effort include:

  • Texas Coastal Prairie Initiative Partners:
  • Armand Bayou Nature Center
  • Audubon Texas
  • Colorado River Land Trust
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • Environmental Institute of Houston, University of Houston - Clear Lake
  • Galveston Bay Foundation
  • Guadalupe Blanco River Trust
  • Gulf Coast Joint Venture
  • Harris County (Precinct 2)
  • Houston-Galveston Area Council
  • Katy Prairie Conservancy
  • Mississippi State University, Strategic Conservation Assessment Team
  • Native Prairies Association of Texas
  • The Nature Conservancy of Texas
  • Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute
  • Texas Agricultural Land Trust
  • Texas Conservation Partners, LLC
  • Texas General Land Office
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Texas Rice Industry Coalition for the Environment (Texas RICE)
  • University of Houston Coastal Center
  • Wildlife Habitat Federation

“This initiative will sustain the coastal prairie ecosystem, preserve wildlife corridors, and help improve water quality in multiple watersheds. The threat of fragmentation and development pressure in the Texas Upper Coast makes this work especially timely, and we can’t wait to get started,” Piacentini said.

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