Access to Siesta Key Beachfront Protected (FL)

Siesta Key, FL, 10/17/2007: The Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit land conservation organization, announced today that it has purchased and conveyed to Sarasota County 3.2 acres of Gulf-front property along Beach Road on Siesta Key.

Acquisition of the site will provide dune protection and increased public access to Siesta Key’s beach, a shoreline that is consistently ranked one of the most beautiful in the world.

With public access becoming increasingly limited in recent years, the $5.4 million deal ensures permanent protection of the property for the public’s enjoyment.

“The Sarasota Gulf beaches and public access to them are so important to Sarasota County not only economically, but for the quality of life in our communities. This relatively large beachfront property will provide badly needed public access to the water, maintain the viewshed and protect the vulnerable plant and animal habitats,” said Doug Hattaway, TPL project manager of the Siesta Key Wood acquisition.

“This acquisition furthers the commitment of the Board of County Commissioners to enhance public waterfront access throughout Sarasota County,” said John McCarthy, general manager of Sarasota County Parks and Recreation.

In November 2005, county voters approved a multi-million-dollar ballot measure that extended the successful Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program and created the new Neighborhood Parklands Acquisition Program. This acquisition is the first completed under a professional services agreement entered into late last year between Sarasota County and TPL. TPL was selected as one of two organizations that were placed under contract to provide conservation services throughout the county over the next three years.

“Acquisition of this property is a fine example of what can be accomplished through our partnership with Sarasota County,” Hattaway said. “We also were very pleased to partner with landowner Gary Wood, whose desire to see his land preserved and willingness to work with TPL and Sarasota County made protection of this parcel possible.”

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 2 million acres of land in 46 states. In Florida, TPL has protected more than 300 sites – over 200,000 acres at a market value of about $500 million. The Trust for Public Land depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve our land for people mission. For more information please call 850-222-7911 or go to