Texas ecology lab raises funds

October 15, 2008 8:00:39 AM PDT
The survival of Kemp's Ridley turtles just got another boost after the Sea Turtle and Fisheries Ecology Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University at Galveston raised more than $26,000 to match a $25,000 challenge grant by renowned trial attorney Joe Jamail. Jamail made the challenge in July after learning that the laboratory had lost all but $25,000 of a $71,000 federal grant and would be forced to end beach patrols that assist in the turtles' survival.

AndrÄe M. Landry Jr., director of the lab, said it had raised the funds, the Houston Chronicle reported in Tuesday's online edition. Landry hopes beaches on the Bolivar Peninsula, badly damaged by Hurricane Ike, can be restored before the turtle's nesting seasons, April 1-June 15.

The Texas General Land Office is providing $6 million to put new sand in front of the Galveston seawall from 10th to 61st streets.

GLO spokesman Jim Suydam said planners expect to have the project completed before nesting season.

The project would put more sand on the beaches than they had before Ike arrived, Suydam said. Corps of Engineers spokeswoman Martie Cenkci said the Corps was working with the GLO and would award a contract for the project.

Jamail is best known for his 1985 $11 billion victory for Pennzoil over Texaco, but his interests have always varied.

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