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|  TPWD News Release 20090605b                                            |
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[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Carol Jones, GCBO, (979) 480-0999, cjones@gcbo.org; Tom Harvey, TPWD, (512) 389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ]
June 5, 2009
Great Texas Birding Classic Teams Award Conservation Grants
AUSTIN, Texas -- Winning teams in the 2009 Great Texas Birding Classic have awarded their conservation prize money to fund six habitat projects totaling $35,000 along the Texas coast. Touted as the world's longest birding competition, the event has funded a total of $686,000 for avian habitat conservation since it began 13 years ago.
Each year, winning teams allocate prize money to fund wildlife habitat conservation and restoration projects approved by the Birding Classic staff. This year's event ran April 26-May 3. The competition is jointly hosted by Gulf Coast Bird Observatory and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Conservation prize money comes from corporate sponsors, team entry fees, community and individual donations, a Wildlife Diversity Conservation Grant from Horned Lizard Conservation License Plate funds and a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program.
"Conservation education and wildlife habitat restoration are the hallmarks of this year's grant awards," said Carol Jones, Gulf Coast Bird Observatory education program manager. "Many of these projects will restore the native ecology by planting trees and shrubs or otherwise restoring and enlarging wetlands and coastal prairie areas that provide critical habitat for birds and other wildlife."
This year, the $20,000 top prize was partially funded by revenue from the sale of specialty vehicle license plates bearing the Texas horned lizard image. Money from horned lizard license plate sales supports nongame and endangered animals and their habitats statewide, as outlined in the recently completed Texas Wildlife Action Plan.
Projects funded with prize money from the 2009 Great Texas Birding Classic include the following:
Weeklong Tournament
--First Place -- $20,000 Conservation Grant
--Project: Matagorda County Birding and Nature Center Habitat Improvement. Restore and enlarge the wetlands and prairie areas of the property to the benefit of the birds and other wildlife
--Team: RRI Environmental Partners
--Sponsor: RRI Energy
--Property size: 34 acres in Matagorda County, Central Texas Coast
Adult One Day Upper Coast
--First Place -- $3,000 Conservation Grant
--Project: Acquiring an addition to the Texas Mid-Coast NWR Bird Pond Unit
--Team: TAMUG WildBirders
--Sponsor: WildBird
--Property size: 28 acre addition, Brazoria County, Upper Texas Coast
Adult One Day Lower Coast
--First Place -- $3,000 Conservation Grant
--Project: South Padre Island World Birding Center Habitat Improvement
--The eastern most portion of the property will be enhanced for birds by creating an upland brush habitat by planting native trees and shrubs.
--Team: Swarovski Roadside Hawks
--Sponsor: Swarovski Optik, NA
--Property size: 10 acres, Cameron County, Lower Texas Coast
Energy Saver
--First Place -- $3,000 Conservation Grant
--Project: Wetland Creation and Educational project, Valley Nature Center
--A  acre wetland will be created and educational signage will be installed next to the new education center due to open in the fall of 2010.
--Team: Slice of the Good Life
--Sponsor: Weslaco Chamber of Commerce
--Property size: 6 acres, Hidalgo County, Lower Texas Coast
Big Sit! Lone Star Bird Award
--$3,000 Conservation Grant
--Project: Warren Lake Wildlife Viewing Platform, Katy Prairie Conservancy
--This project will pay to purchase native coastal prairie seed and plant it along both sides of a 650 ft long access path to the viewing platform.
--Team: Vopak Vultures
--Sponsor: Vopak NA
--Property size: 1/2 acre, (30,000 acres total property area) Waller & Harris Counties, Upper Texas Coast
Big Sit! Lone Star Bird Award
--$3,000 Conservation Grant
--Project: Wetland Creation and Educational project, Valley Nature Center
--A  acre wetland will be created and educational signage will be installed next to the new education center due to open in the fall of 2010.
--Team: Sora Winners
--Sponsor: Corpus Christi Convention & Visitors Bureau
--Property size: 6 acres, Hidalgo County, Lower Texas Coast
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On the Net:
http://www.birdingclassic.org/
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