AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin signed an agreement with the Fennessey Ranch on Aug. 10 authorizing a conservation easement that will protect the 3,256-acre ranch from development and fragmentation.
Fennessey Ranch, owned by Brien O’Connor Dunn, is in Refugio County and is composed of diverse habitats, including natural lakes, meadows, prairie, freshwater wetlands and the banks along a section of the Mission River.
The ranch and its valuable habitats are now officially part of the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve (MANERR), a research and education program managed by The University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The MANERR is a 185,708-acre area of marshes, mangroves, open water and coastal prairie along the Texas Gulf coast that became NOAA’s 27th National Estuarine Research Reserve last May.
Fennessey Ranch is the only upland site with fresh water in the reserve and is home to more than 400 species of migratory and resident birds.
For more information contact: Sally Morehead, 361-749-6771.