Commission Agenda Item No. 10
Presenter:  Ted Hollingsworth

Action
Land Acquisition – Brazoria County
Approximately 480 Acres at the Christmas Bay Coastal Preserve
January 24, 2013

I.       Executive Summary:  Brazoria County has been awarded a Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) grant for the acquisition of a tract of land adjacent to the Christmas Bay Coastal Preserve for conveyance to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).

II.      Discussion:  The Christmas Bay Coastal Preserve covers a shallow bay on the west end of the Galveston Bay estuary system.  Christmas Bay is bounded on the north and west by the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge and on the south by Follets Island, severed from the mainland decades ago by excavation of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.  The subject tract straddles Follets Island from the south shore of Christmas Bay to the Gulf of Mexico and is owned by the Texas General Land Office (GLO).  At one time the tract was owned by TPWD and was known as Christmas Bay State Park, but was conveyed to the GLO in an exchange mandated by the 75th Texas Legislature in 1997.  The tract remains undeveloped and continues to have high conservation values both for the marshes and prairie habitat of the tract itself and for protecting Christmas Bay from further development.

TPWD worked with Brazoria County to apply for a Coastal Impact assistance Program (CIAP) grant for the acquisition of the property in the 2009 grant cycle.  The funds were awarded, and are now available to complete acquisition by the county and transfer from the county to TPWD.  GLO is a willing seller at appraised value.  The tract would be managed by the Coastal Fisheries Division as part of the Coastal Preserve for its outstanding fish and wildlife values.

III.     Recommendation:  The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

“The Executive Director is authorized to accept the donation of approximately 480 acres of land adjacent to the Christmas Bay Coastal Preserve.”

Attachments — 4

  1. Exhibit A – Location Map
  2. Exhibit B – Vicinity Map
  3. Exhibit C – Vicinity Map Close Up
  4. Exhibit D – Site Map

Commission Agenda Item No. 10
Exhibit A

Location of Christmas Bay Coastal Preserve in Brazoria County


Commission Agenda Item No. 10
Exhibit B

Vicinity Map for Christmas Bay 20 Miles Southwest of Galveston


Commission Agenda Item No. 10
Exhibit C

Map of Christmas Bay Showing Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge
and the Subject Tract


Commission Agenda Item No. 10
Exhibit D

Site Map for the Subject 480 Acres on Follets Island
Subject Tract Outlined in Black


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