Florida DEP partners with regional land trust to conserve 56-Acre Peninsula
DEP and the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast protect and preserve integral coastal lands
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection announces the permanent protection of the 56-acre Coral Creek Peninsula as an addition to Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park. With the addition of of this conservation land, DEP will be able to better protect several of its already managed areas.
"The Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park has been a land acquisition priority since 1972," said Callie DeHaven, Director of DEP Division of State Lands. "The Coral Creek Peninsula purchase is a great example of Florida Forever dollars being used to ensure the vitality and integrity of our spectacular state parks. We're proud that we were able to work with our partners to complete this important acquisition and look forward to continuing to build these types of partnerships to acquire additional rare and sensitive lands."
This parcel is within the boundaries of the northern half of Charlotte Harbor. Adding this vital land to the park will ensure it is also managed for the health and diversity of its natural communities while benefiting the adjoining public lands and significant waterways. The 46,000-acre preserve buffers more than 100 miles of the shoreline of Charlotte Harbor National Estuary and over 80,000 acres of aquatic preserves. The variety of habitat supports more than 100 invertebrate species, 200 fish species, and 150 species of shore and wading birds.
“Conservation Foundation is working to conserve critical properties surrounding the Charlotte Harbor estuary and its barrier islands,” said Christine Johnson, Conservation Foundation President. “We recognized the importance of saving the Coral Creek Peninsula to prevent any future development which would disturb important fish and wildlife within the state park, surrounding creeks and bays.”
The Conservation Foundation worked with DEP to acquire the property through the Florida Forever program. The state’s acquisition will enhance management of the natural resources on both the land and the adjoining state park lands.
With approximately 10 million acres managed for conservation in Florida, more than 2.5 million acres were purchased under the Florida Forever and P2000 programs. Since the inception of the Florida Forever program in July 2001, the state has purchased more than 770,279 acres of land with a little over $3 billion.