A Galveston nonprofit has announced another purchase of West End land, expanding the area the group has acquired for natural preservation.

Artist Boat announced Monday it had acquired 40 acres in the middle of Galveston Island. The purchase brings the area of land bought by Artist Boat since 2009 to nearly 600 acres — far beyond the goals originally set when plans for the preserve began, said Karla Klay, executive director.

“The original goal was to save 348 acres,” Klay said. “Now, we’ve saved, after this transaction, 600 acres, and then there’s other available land adjacent to us. We think, if we’re successful over the next two years, the preserve might grow to 1,200 acres.”

The sale will close Oct. 31, Klay said.

The latest purchase was made with a $1 million grant from the Texas General Land Office.

The Artist Boat has been periodically purchasing land since 2009, as part of a project to create a coastal prairie and wetland preserve.

The latest land purchase is a piece of wetland along Stewart Road east of the Spanish Grant subdivision. It was once owned by a private developer, Marquette Land Development LLC, which planned to build 800 homes on a 1,053 acre site.

The development failed and Marquette has since been working with the land office and the Artist Boat to sell portions of the land. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the other organizations have also provided funding for the purchases.

Contact reporter John Wayne Ferguson at 409-683-5226 or john.ferguson@galvnews.com. Follow him on Twitter, @johnwferguson.

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(3) comments

M. FARRIS

It's wonderful to see people caring and protecting our precious wetlands. Our animals need us. Thanks so much to all people involved in this worthy cause!! May God bless you all!

Don Ciaccio

Wonderful, great news. I urge my neighbors to continue to help fund this project by giving at participating businesses.

Mike Box

Great work! Thanks!

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