AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — About 15,000 acres of a private ranch along the Texas coast has become a state wildlife management area in a $50 million conservation project.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department on Thursday announced completion of the nearly $38 million acquisition of Powderhorn Ranch in Calhoun County, 75 miles northeast of Corpus Christi.

Powderhorn Ranch has freshwater wetlands, salt marshes, tidal flats, oyster beds and live oak forests. Part of the property will become a state park.

The effort, led by Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation, included years of discussions supported by The Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy and others.

About $34.5 million came from a fund created by BP and Transocean following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The conservancy organizations also contributed.

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