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Manatee Leases 52 Acres to Preserve Coastline

An ongoing effort to restore and preserve Manatee County’s environmentally sensitive coastline just received a triple boost of support: two grants and a property expansion.

The county’s 487-acre Robinson Preserve on the Palma Sola peninsula and 176-acre Perico Preserve, which opened in May on Perico Island, both flank Perico Bayou and overlook Tampa Bay. Because of grants and the labors of countless volunteers, the public properties have undergone extensive restorations to become vital habitats for wildlife and provide opportunities for passive recreation for visitors.

The county is currently working on restoration of a southward, 150-acre expansion of Robinson Preserve not yet ready for the public.

In conjunction with those efforts, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation recently awarded an $82,000 grant to the county to construct oyster bars and reefs at Robinson Preserve.

The county also just received a $30,000 grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to remove exotic vegetation and provide interpretative signs at Perico Preserve.

Yet what county commissioners and Parks and Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker are especially excited about is a 52-acre property known as the Winston Tract.