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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from PR Newswire
Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Conservation Equity Management acquires ecologically valuable coastal property to develop wetland mitigation bank and carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility

September 12, 2022 GMT

DALLAS, Sept. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Conservation Equity Management, LP (CEM) is pleased to announce the acquisition of 5,403 acres in Brazoria County, Texas. The Chocolate Bay Conservation parcel will serve as a multi-use haven for ecologically focused projects on the Texas coast. From constructing wetlands to capturing carbon dioxide to enhancing threatened and endangered species habitat, CEM is on the forefront of merging the worlds of conservation and finance.

“This investment opportunity is extremely compelling due to the property’s high ecological value, the scarcity of remaining untouched resources for restoration, the project’s proximity to the Houston ship channel, and the industrial environmental damage that is being done,” said Kyle Bass, founder and CEO of CEM. “This is one of the most beautiful, pristine privately-owned wetlands projects remaining in Texas.”

Located in Brazoria County, approximately 45 minutes from downtown Houston and 20 minutes from Galveston Island, the property supports diverse coastal wetlands critical to the ecological health and economic stability of the Texas coast.

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The Chocolate Bay parcel which includes 9.2 miles of frontage with local bayous and 2.3 miles of bay frontage is bordered to the east by The Chocolate Bay Preserve, a 4,714-acre tract recently acquired by the Galveston Bay Foundation with a mission to protect open space and natural habitat. Located immediately to the west across Chocolate Bay, lies the 44,414-acre Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge.

As urban development and land fragmentation continues along Texas’ coast, this trifecta of conservation-based properties will provide critical, uninterrupted habitat corridors for native and migratory wildlife species as well as buffer and protect inland areas from flooding events.

“This property is a unique, multiple-use conservation asset with excellent potential for generating ecological values sought after in the emerging world of sustainable investment and corporate environmental, social and governance commitments,” said Terry Anderson, founder and Principal of CEM.

One of the most significant resources CEM has identified on the property is the pending 2,500-acre Frentress-Johnson Wetland Mitigation Bank, which CEM expects to be permitted by the end of this year. CEM intends to engineer, build, and permanently conserve one of the largest newly developed coastal wetlands in Texas. Additional components under development include a habitat conservation bank and a carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility.

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According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, these CCS wells, also known as geologic sequestration, provide long-term underground storage for C02, reducing atmospheric emissions and mitigating climate change.

Under the direction of experienced ecologists, land management practices such as prescribed fire will be implemented to further augment biodiversity among flora and fauna. Additionally, a conservation-oriented grazing regime will be developed on appropriate portions of the property. Regenerative grazing, an ESG-recognized agricultural practice, not only improves soil health by managing livestock on perennial and annual forages, but supports human and ecosystem health, farm profitability and food-system resilience.

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“Conservation Equity Management continues to evaluate additional ecosystem service uplift opportunities as sustainable investing markets continue to evolve,” Bass said.

Since its founding, CEM has invested approximately $90 million to acquire approximately 37,000 acres across six projects.

Founded in 2021, Conservation Equity Management, LP is an environmental sustainability private equity firm based in Dallas and Nacogdoches, Texas. The CEM team has more than 30 years of experience identifying conservation and environmental mitigation assets while applying value-driven ecosystem enhancement techniques to capture step-up valuations. For more information, contact Steele Schottenheimer at ss@cem-tx.com or (214) 347-8045.

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SOURCE Conservation Equity Management, LP