Making Waves

Elizabeth Moore Protects Florida Lands Through Philanthropy

The conservationist and philanthropist works to ensure that children today, and in the future, can experience nature the way she did.

By Kay Kipling June 28, 2019 Published in the July 2019 issue of Sarasota Magazine

Elizabeth Moore

Elizabeth Moore grew up in Massachusetts in an environmentally attuned family, spending days in a backyard world of butterflies, birds and trees.  Now the conservationist and philanthropist (who moved here in 2007 so her children could play tennis at IMG Academy while attending Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School) works to ensure that children today, and in the future, can experience nature the way she did.

Moore travels the world seeking to educate and explore, as she’s done with trips to Madagascar to see the native habitat of the endangered lemur (she’s involved with Myakka’s own Lemur Conservation Foundation), or the Gobi Desert and the Badlands of South Dakota, where she’s participated in dinosaur bone digs. Closer to home, she’s contributed to helping our environment in ways big and small.

Moore donated $1 million to Mote Marine for the building of its international coral reef research facility in the Florida Keys, and she now owns and stewards the Triangle Ranch, 1,143 acres near Myakka River State Park crucial to protecting the watershed, the wetlands and the animals that live there. With that $3 million purchase, she joined the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast and other entities to restore the land to its “optimum natural function.” She’s also a founding director of the new Climate Adaptation & Mitigation Center (CAC) , which focuses on sea level rise, hurricanes and climate-induced health issues.

Moore’s financial wherewithal comes from her marriage to Stuart Moore and the multibillion-dollar sale of his digital consulting and marketing firm, Sapient, to advertising conglomerate Publicis five years ago. At the time, Forbes reported Stuart’s holdings in Sapient worth $259 million.

Near her home in Manatee County, Moore acquired two extra, unbuilt lots to keep as a back yard like the one she grew up with, so that neighborhood children can wander outside spotting animals and even sampling fruit from the trees growing there.

She hopes they will grow up loving nature as much as her own five kids have. Her eldest, William, is a farmer in North Carolina using regenerative practices that enrich the soil; daughter Merry is studying to be a marine biologist; and daughter Grace is an NYU student involved in a “Life After Carbon” project that Moore supports, recently hosting an event at Sarasota’s Florida House (another cause to which she’s tied) to rouse community involvement.

Energetic and driven, Moore says, “I get involved by just showing up. I like to talk to leadership, to encourage them to care about our natural world, to raise money and awareness. I have to do this by my actions, and I’ve been blessed to have some money to gift for the land.”

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