A major win for the roseate spoonbills, tricolored herons, great egrets, snowy egrets and white ibis - not to mention the humans! About a mile north of the Outpost property, at the corner of A1A and Mickler (yellow arrow), 4.3 acres of wetland marsh and upland maritime hammock (red arrow) on Guana River were saved from the bulldozer, having just been acquired by North Florida Land Trust. So instead of looking at more concrete and condos on A1A, we'll be looking at nature.

As if that wasn't good enough news all by itself, NFLT plans to provide public access for picnicking, canoeing and kayaking on Guana River since the property abuts an existing NFLT property also on the river. Full story here.

Who do we have to thank for this wonderful gift of wilderness - to be preserved in perpetuity? Many people donated including two major donors: the River Branch Foundation and Joseph and Renate Hixon. NFLT also used its own funds to cover a very significant portion of the $400,000 cost of the property and is now asking for donations to replenish those much needed funds. To quote Jim McCarthy, Exec Director of NFLT, "We just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to protect the Guana."

If ever there was a time to donate to NFLT, now is the time! Calling Ponte Vedra and Palm Valley residents - the prime beneficiaries - and everyone who loves Guana and will benefit from less traffic and more nature on A1A. Please donate if you haven't already, so NFLT can continue saving land in critical need of preservation. The Outpost is also on NFLT's acquisitions list.

We have another important environmental update that directly relates to the Outpost. The GTM National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM-NERR) just announced the preliminary results of the water quality study of Guana Lake, and it's very concerning: elevated levels of phytoplankton (microscopic algae) indicate an imbalance in nutrients. In some areas of the lake, the algae marker chlorophyll a was six times the threshold. High levels of bacteria and nitrogen were also detected in the lake and river. The good news is... this data now exists, and the study will continue until final conclusions can be made. So far, the results support protection, not development of 99 acres of conservation land on Guana Lake which is an Outstanding Florida Water - already deemed worthy of special protection.

The addition of 66 homes along a mile of river and lakefront will only worsen the water quality. Imagine the impact on this fragile body of water when fertilizer run-off, pesticides, automobile oil, and other chemicals flow over impermeable surfaces and find their way into the only NERR (National Estuarine Research Reserve) on Florida's east coast.

As Jim Sutton, Opinion Editor of the St. Augustine Record, wrote:

Put the five words “Conservation Land” and “Planned Unit Development” into the same sentence and it might light up the bulb of lunacy.

Add four letters to that same sentence - NERR - and the light bulb of lunacy should flash nonstop while a siren sounds. Hopefully, those entrusted with the task of protecting our most precious natural assets will put an end to the insanity of "Vista Tranquila," and the folks at the Ponte Vedra Corporation will make the property available for purchase so that it too can be protected in perpetuity. Or perhaps, PVC might consider donating the Outpost property and creating an incredible legacy for future generations.

ONE MORE UPDATE! Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 24, 9 am to 12 pm. A beach clean-up is taking place at all three GTM-NERR beaches, and they're calling on citizens who love and care about Guana to come to the Environmental Education Center, pick up gloves and a garbage bag, and hit the beach. Your help is truly needed, and it'll be fun to pitch in together. (Bring water.)

Please note: we've removed our Save Guana Now donate button from this email. Instead, we're asking you to donate to North Florida Land Trust today, to help offset the cost of 4.3 untouched forever acres of land on A1A and Guana River in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Thank you for helping us fight for our dwindling wild spaces.

Nicole Crosby and Gary Coulliette
Co-founders, Save Guana Now