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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT:
Michael A. Nixon, Galveston Partner
Pirates’ Galveston
4242 Pirates Beach
Galveston, TX 77554
409.737.2059
409.737.4307 fax
mnixon@piratesgalveston.com

BLACKARD GROUP, INC RECEIVED COMMENDATION FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR

Frisco, TX – August 16, 2005 - The Blackard Group, Inc. received commendation from the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the local awards ceremony for their participation in the Delehide Cove Protection and Restoration Project. The Delehide Cove Protection and Restoration Project was selected as a national winner for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s highest award, the 2005 National Wetland Conservation Award, for work to restore and protect approximately 400 acres of coastal habitat along Galveston Island’s West Bay shoreline.

Wetland loss was identified in the Galveston Bay Plan as the single greatest environmental problem affecting the Galveston Bay System. “The Blackard Group, Inc. was a catalyst in bringing together community, civic, state and federal agencies to the table to become involved in restoring the marshes in Delehide Cove,” commented Jerry Mohn, President of the West Galveston Island Property Owners’ Association. The Delehide Cove Project was in the formative stage when the Blackard Group, Inc. became a contributing entity donating $75,000 in seed funding for engineering and architectural work as well as providing an employee to coordinate activities associated with the project. The Blackard Group contributed an additional $16,500 with the Pirates’ Property Owners Association to leverage matching funds from the General Land Office under the Coastal Erosion Planning Response Act.

The acting Regional Director of the U.S. Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service, Matt Hogan stated, “Sustaining our Nation’s fish and wildlife resources is a task that can only be accomplished through the combined efforts of governments, businesses, and private citizens.” The Blackard Group was privileged to be a part of the award winning Delehide Cove Project Team that included the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas General Land Office, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality – Galveston Bay Estuary Program, the West Galveston Island Property Owners Association, the Galveston Bay Foundation, Reliant Energy, Texas Genco, Pirate’s Property Association, Shiner Moseley & Associates, the National Aeronautical and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Coastal Program of Texas.

A developer’s involvement in projects such as this is often linked to a permit application and the associated mitigation. Not the case for the Blackard Group and Delehide Cove; their involvement was centered on the preservation of this endangered area and remained out of the public’s awareness. Environmental concerns are fundamental to Mr. Blackard’s development strategy as he feels fervently that the environment is a resource for the generations. “Galveston Island’s environmental resources are an asset to preserve in perpetuity. I will continue to support and participate in projects that protect, preserve and enhance our environmentally sensitive community,” points out Jeffory D. Blackard, President and CEO of the Blackard Group, Inc. Mr. Blackard’s involvement in environmental projects extends from Galveston’s West Bay to the Amazon in Brazil where he supports and participates in rain forest preservation and environmental impact education. The Blackard Group has partnered to purchase and donate acreage in the Amazon for re-forestation projects and supported University programs to teach local farmers the function of the rain forest and the importance of preservation.

The Blackard Group, Inc., formed by Dallas real estate developer Jeffory D. Blackard, represents a diversified real estate development company specializing in master-planned communities. Mr. Blackard through various development partnerships has developed over 12,000 single family lots and multi-family, recreational and commercial projects throughout the United States. Additionally, the Blackard Group has made significant investments in a variety of manufacturing and technology companies with strong fundamentals and significant expansion opportunities.

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