On January 7, 1992 a pipeline operated by Exxon Pipeline Company ruptured, discharging nearly 124,000 gallons of light crude oil into a 38 acre marsh complex associated with Chiltipin Creek, San Patricio County, Texas. An in-situ burn was conducted in an effort to remove the oil, causing additional impacts to the marsh and associated habitat. The case was settled in 1994 for $153,793 in restoration and past administrative costs.
The Trustees determined that the purchase of the 110 acre Shamrock Island would adequately compensate the public for losses to natural resources and habitat services from the spill. Shamrock Island is located in Corpus Christi Bay, Nueces County, Texas, and was slated for development activities. The Island supports sand/shell beach, grass/shrub xeric upland; low, mid and high marsh wetlands; and small coves and lagoons. The far west end of the Island supports a tremendous bird rookery for over 20 species of shore and wading birds. The restoration plan for this case included protection of the property in perpetuity and stabilizing areas being eroded.