Mission-Aransas NERR

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The Mission-Aransas NERR (185,708 acres or 751.5 km2) is located in the Mission-Aransas Estuary. The lands within the Reserve are managed by a combination of state, federal and private entities. The Texas General Land Office (GLO) owns the majority of submerged lands (bays and open water) within the site (115,138 acres). The United States Fish and Wildlife Service own the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, including Matagorda Island, which contains beach, estuarine marsh, and non-tidal coastal plain habitat (66,216 acres). The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department manages the Goose Island State Park (271 acres), which is owned by the GLO. Other private landholders include the Coastal Bend Land Trust and Fennessey Ranch. The Coastal Bend Land Trust owns the Buccaneer Ranch Cove Preserve (728 acres), which includes a diverse suite of estuarine and non-estuarine habitats (many of high quality) that form an intact coastal watershed. Fennessey Ranch (3,324 acres) is composed of native tree/brush, prairie, freshwater wetlands, and Mission River riparian corridor. The Mission-Aransas Estuary also includes a number of archaeological sites (i.e., Indian middens) and supports significant faunal and floral components. The site is relatively rural with limited industrial and community impacts.

The University of Texas at Austin, Marine Science Institute is the lead state agency for the Mission-Aransas NERR. The mission of the Reserve is to develop and facilitate partnerships that enhance coastal decision making through an integrated program of research, education, and stewardship. The mission will enable us to fulfill the vision that the Mission-Aransas NERR will be a center of excellence to create and disseminate knowledge necessary to maintain a healthy Texas coastal zone. There are three goals that will be used to support the Reserve mission: (1) improve knowledge of Texas coastal zone ecosystems structure and function, (2) promote understanding of coastal ecosystems by diverse audiences, and (3) promote public appreciation and support for stewardship of coastal resources. TAMU-CC students and faculty have a number of completed and current projects in this reserve.

Contact Information

Jace Tunnell (sally.palmer@utexas.edu) (361) 749-3046 - Reserve Manager

Dr. Ed Buskey (buskey@mail.utexas.edu) (361) 749-6794 - Research Coordinator

Charles Foster (charles.foster@famu.edu) (###) ###-#### - ECSC Coordinator of Research Programs/Services

Website: http://missionaransas.org/index.php

Our NERR Partners

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