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Texas Program Pays Landowners to Leave Coastal Lands Untouched

In an effort to preserve coastal Texas ecosystems and fight global warming, a new nonprofit is paying landowners to not develop their land.
August 23, 2019, 12pm PDT | Camille Fink
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Tom Haymes

The Texas Coastal Exchange is an organization providing financial incentives to landowners to protect coastal lands, including coastal marshlands and prairies, reports Perla Trevizo. Payments come from carbon-footprint donations and are based on the land area, the type of ecosystem, and amount of carbon dioxide being sequestered.

"The way the system works, the donor pays $20 to support the storage of one metric ton, with $17 going to the landowner in the form of a grant and the other $3 being used to support the educational outreach and administration of the organization," writes Trevizo. 

As part of the deal, property owners agree to not sell or develop their land for ten years. It is a mutually beneficial agreement—natural lands are preserved and landowners, including farmers and ranchers, have a guaranteed source of income.

"The exchange’s initial goal is to enroll 2 million acres of undeveloped coastal lands in Texas. Its hope is that this model is replicated elsewhere in the country," notes Trevizo.

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Published on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 in Houston Chronicle
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