Aquarina Parcels in Archie Carr Refuge Purchased

Date: January 16, 2002
Contact: Gary Appelson
(352) 373-6441

For much of 2001 the Caribbean Conservation Corporation and several other conservation groups worked hard to secure federal funding to purchase a large parcel of undeveloped beachfront land in the northern part of the Archie Carr Refuge. The parcel, known as Aquarina, was under threat of intense development, and parts of the parcel were being developed even as funding for protection was being sought. The Aquarina tract is located along some of the most important sea turtle nesting beaches in Florida, with nesting densities in the area of about 600 nest per kilometer! The effort to find the federal dollars last year came to a halt after September 11, as key legislators turned their attention to other pressing issues and responsibilities.

The Conservation Fund (CF) had been spearheading the effort to negotiate the acquisition for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. However with no federal dollars the acquisition was in doubt. The CF is a non-profit national organization which helps local, state and federal agencies, and non-profit organizations acquire property from willing sellers to protect open space, wildlife habitat, public recreation areas, river corridors and historic places. When federal funding appeared to be lost the CF and others began to look at alternatives to fund the acquisition. In November of last year the CF purchased 300 feet of the Aquarina parcel, with the intent of transferring it to the USFWS. The Brevard County EEL Program then proposed purchasing the adjacent 200 feet. The Brevard County Commission approved the purchase in late November 2001. So through hard work and partnerships some key sea turtle nesting areas will now be preserved from development.

Thanks to everyone involved.

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The Sea Turtle Conservancy, formerly known as the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization based in Florida with offices and projects in several other locations. The Sea Turtle Conservancy is the oldest and most accomplished sea turtle organization in the world. Since its founding in 1959, the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s work has greatly improved the survival outlook for several species of sea turtles. The Sea Turtle Conservancy has as its mission the protection of sea turtles and the habitats upon which they depend. To achieve its mission, the Sea Turtle Conservancy uses research, habitat protection, public education, community outreach, networking and advocacy as its basic tools. These tools are applied in both international and domestic programs focusing on geographic areas that are globally important to sea turtle survival. For more information, visit the STC website or call (800) 678-7853.