The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation has purchased three off-island properties on McGregor Boulevard near the Sanibel Causeway totaling over 25 acres. All three parcels contain mangrove forest with, or immediately adjacent to, tidally influenced waterways.
“SCCF’s land acquisition and preservation efforts off-island enhance and expand our impact on restoring coastal ecosystems in the region,” said SCCF CEO Ryan Orgera, Ph.D. “The more land we can preserve, the better off the whole system will be.”
This estuarine habitat, including mudflats and salt flats, is important to many shorebird species, diamondback terrapins (M. terrapin), critically endangered smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinate), and countless invertebrate species, including crustaceans and mollusks.
The purchase of the three parcels marks the first time that monies have been used for this purpose from SCCF’s Land Acquisition and Improvement Fund. Created in 2020 with a gift from a longstanding supporter who wishes to remain anonymous, the Land Acquisition and Improvement Fund affords SCCF the resources to opportunistically acquire environmentally sensitive wildlife habitat so that it can remain undeveloped in perpetuity. The fund may also be used to optimize the quality of that habitat through restoration, rewilding, and ongoing maintenance.
Along the major boulevard, where the ground is higher, there are several exotic plant species, such as Brazilian pepper, melaleuca, and Australian pine, that will be treated or removed so native vegetation can become the dominant species once again. This buffer along the road will continue to serve as a terrestrial wildlife corridor during high tides.