Bay Guardian Volunteers

FISH Preserve Restoration Progress

The first phase of restoration has been completed at this 95-acre area located next to Sarasota Bay east of Anna Maria Island. FISH is an acronym for Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage, a non-profit group that purchased the property in 1999 to help restore and protect the estuarine ecosystem and adjacent waters. The initial phase involved mangrove restoration, the removal of exotic plants, and the development of a design plan. A number of bridges have been constructed to connect hiking trails. Kayak trails have also been developed for greater public access and to increase tidal flow. Many area schools have already visited FISH Preserve as a field learning site. Future restoration will focus on additional removal of exotic plants, the development of more kayak trails, and the development of two stormwater retention ponds. The SBEP and the US Fish Wildlife Service are funding the project. Scheda Ecological has been contracted to complete construction on the site. Many other oganizations have provided support including The Audubon Society, The Ocean Trust, West Coast Inland Navigation District, The William and Marie Selby Foundation, Manatee County Board of Commissioners, The Organized Fishermen of Florida, First America Foundation, and the entire membership of FISH.

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