Trying to Preserve Preserve Land

TRYING TO PRESERVE PRESERVE LAND A year and a half after Hurricane Ike, what’s going on with Marquette Investments’ “The Preserve at West Beach” development plan for a huge chunk of Galveston’s West End? Here’s an update on a piece of it: “Last year, the environmental group Artist Boat applied for $11 million in federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program money to buy 343 acres of bay-front land from developer Marquette Land Investments. Gov. Rick Perry rejected the application, even though island leaders and environmentalists flooded his office with e-mails, letters and faxes urging him to save one of the island’s most ecologically diverse tracts. . . . Now, Artist Boat and the city of Galveston are working together to secure a $3 million Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program grant, administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. The grant application was submitted Thursday. . . . [Artist Boat Executive Director Karla]Klay said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association will announce the winners of the grant within six to nine months. Darren Sloniger and his partners at Marquette agreed to provide $3 million in matching land value if Klay and the city get the grant. If that happens, the city would hold the title to one-third of the 343-acre site, which sits east of 11 Mile Road and north of Settegast Road. Marquette intended to turn the site into a 35-acre marina and residential subdivision. The property is part of a 1,058-acre development that will include a 15-story resort hotel, 4,000 condominiums and houses and an 18-hole golf course.” [Galveston County Daily News]

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