(March 12) Ocean Mist Farms, Castroville, Calif., sold 183 acres of farmland to Elkhorn Slough Foundation to increase the amount of wetlands in Monterey County.

“It was in the interest of both Ocean Mist and the foundation to do this,” said Joe Pezzini, vice president of operations for Ocean Mist, in a news release. “We converted unproductive farmland into a rare opportunity for the Elkhorn Slough Foundation to restore diminishing coastal habitat and wetland functions.”

The alliance with the environmental group began in 2006, when Hugo Tottino and other partners in Ocean Mist agreed to sell the land for much less than its market value in Salinas Valley, according to the release.

Formerly an artichoke ranch, the land is located at the center of the Monterey Bay coastline. The land provides habitat for more than 340 species of birds.