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Lemon Bay Preserve Protection Advances With Purchase of Bayfront Parcel
Sarasota, FL - On Tuesday, a piece of bayfront property that serves as habitat for the Florida scrub-jay, gopher tortoise and other rare species is set to be protected by Sarasota County with the help of The Nature Conservancy.
The 20-acre site will add to the existing 185-acre Lemon Bay Preserve. The deal was negotiated by the Conservancy, and the land will be purchased by the county. H
“Few opportunities remain to protect waterfront property in south Florida,” said Ed Freeman, field representative for The Nature Conservancy. “Here the county is not only protecting the waterfront, it is protecting wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities for the public as well.”
In an effort to help fulfill the goals of the Charlotte Harbor Estuary Program, Sarasota County will add property to a network of county-owned sites that help protect Lemon Bay and Charlotte Harbor.
The Lemon Bay Preserve project area is a mix of pristine scrub, pine flatwood, mangrove swamp and tidal marsh habitats.
IThe county’s partnership with The Nature Conservancy has flourished with a succession of recent land transactions, including other parcels protecting Lemon Bay and two major deals in the Deer Prairie Creek site that protected 923 acres along the Myakka River. The county has protected tens of thousands of acres on both sides of the Myakka River. The Deer Prairie Creek site covers more than 8,000 acres. The creek is a major tributary of the Myakka River. Due to recent acquisitions, the entire length of Deer Prairie Creek is publicly protected.
To date, the county has spent approximately $53 million of local funds to protect almost 17,000 acres on 58 parcels.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading international, nonprofit organization that preserves plants, animals and natural communities representing the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. The Conservancy has helped protect more than 1.1 million acres in Florida since 1961.
Article has been adapted from a news release issued by The Nature Conservancy. Click here for the original news release.