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Water-Related News

SWFWMD governing board votes to fund conservation easement in Manatee County

Today, the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) Governing Board approved the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement of more than 1,088 acres of Triangle Ranch in Manatee County, in the upper Myakka River watershed. This action will prevent future development on this property by securing $2 million toward the purchase of the conservation agreement, and is a key part in the permanent protection of this important piece of land.

“The Board’s action today allows the District to spend tax payer dollars effectively, which contributes to our core mission of protecting water resources,” said Brian Armstrong, Executive Director. “This purchase increases the connectivity of conservation lands in the watershed.”

The District partnered with the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast on this acquisition. The Foundation works to save land in conjunction with landowners, businesses, and government to protect the character and natural integrity of the bays, beaches, barrier islands and their watersheds on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

“Today we celebrate the power of many working together for a common goal, and kudos to District officials who recognize the impact of saving Triangle Ranch for the vitality of our community,” noted Christine Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast.

Protecting Triangle Ranch is integral to the environmental strength and economic vibrancy of our region. Triangle Ranch is listed on the Florida Forever list of crucial properties to protect in Florida, and is essential to the protection of the Myakka wetlands, the Myakka River’s water quality and biodiversity, as well as flood protection in our region. More than three miles of the Myakka River flows through Triangle Ranch and conserving the ranch protects and provides the opportunity to enhance the natural functions of the surrounding land, water and wetland systems.

“I think the Board and the District staff have done a great job pulling this together, and we admire very much the land acquisition efforts that are occurring here at the Southwest Florida Water Management District,” said Charles Lee, Director of Advocacy for Audubon Florida.

More than 120 species of birds and numerous animals from the endangered Florida panther to the threatened crested caracara call Triangle Ranch their home. In protecting the land and waters of Triangle Ranch, we ensure our natural areas, from beaches to prairie hammocks and woodlands, stay inviting to people and wildlife.