The Morton and Spapperi Family Foundation recently donated $50,000 to Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast in support of permanently protecting the 1,143-acre Triangle Ranch in Manatee County, FL. Placing Triangle Ranch in conservation will help protect and improve water quality and flood protection along the Myakka River. It will also conserve high quality natural habitats for an array of wildlife including gopher tortoise, eastern indigo snake, Florida panther, Florida Manatee, American woodstork, crested cara-cara, and state-listed wading birds. Moving forward, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast plans restoration on this property to further expand and link critical water and habitat by modifying the altered connection between the Myakka River and Tatum Sawgrass marsh.
Triangle Ranch along the Myakka River in Manatee County, FL
A second donation of $50,000 was made to Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast to support restoration efforts on Pine Island Preserve at Matlacha Pass in Saint James City, FL. Restoration will include hydrological restoration such as ditch blocks to restore natural hydroperiods and increase functional wildlife habitat, and restoration of wetlands to increase habitat for wading birds and improve stormwater runoff. Additionally, over 50 acres of pasture will be restored back to pine flatwoods, which will increase available gopher tortoise and indigo snake habitat in order to ensure these species do not disappear from the island. Through pasture restoration, an array of grassland species will be seeded and shrubs planted for many pollinators, including butterflies. To that end, a special effort will be made to plant thousands of milkweed species in clusters to promote monarch butterfly migration and habitat. Restoration is slated to begin this fall.
First Photo: Pictured from left to right: Debi Osborne, Director of Land Protection at Foundation of the Gulf Coast; Julie Spapperi-Morton, Co-founder and President of The Morton and Spapperi Family Foundation; Lee Amos, Land Steward at Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. Second Photo: Pine Island Preserve in Saint James City, FL.