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Projects in Florida
Sarasota Audubon Society in support of Celery Fields
The Morton and Spapperi Family Foundation made a sizeable donation to Sarasota Audubon Society in support of Celery Fields. The Celery Fields is a 360-acre oasis of wetlands and wildlife in Sarasota County – and one of the “birdiest” spots in Florida. It is evident that the goals and objectives of Sarasota Audubon Society fit well with our mission to preserve, enhance, and restore the land and its habitat. We are encouraged by the work that has been done and look forward to helping restore the natural ecosystem.
The Morton and Spapperi Family Foundation made a significant donation to the 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.
Planting trees on Pine Island in Florida
In December 2015, several members of The Foundation, along with the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, planted nearly 300 longleaf pines on Pine Island Preserve at Matlacha Pass on the west coast of Florida. The land, which had been used for decades for pasture, was first burned to reducing invasive plants to a “maintenance” level. Longleaf pine forests provided an exceptional ecosystem, and the earlier tree removal hurt many animals, especially species such as the gopher tortoise, Sherman’s fox squirrel, eastern indigo snake and red-cockaded woodpecker. The good news is that today, groups in the Southeast are joining the Longleaf Alliance to rebuild the forest.
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