The Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners has approved the purchase of 228 acres in Old Miakka—acreage that was recently acquired by the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast—in order to act quickly in this hot real estate market. This land is a critical link between Sarasota County’s Old Miakka Preserve and the Conservation Foundation’s Tatum Sawgrass Scrub Preserve, further connecting to over 120,000 acres of conserved land protecting the Myakka River.

Sarasota County voted to purchase the property from Conservation Foundation with funds from the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program (ESLPP), a voter-approved and taxpayer-funded program designed to acquire and protect natural lands and parklands. The additional 228 acres will more than double the size of the existing Old Miakka Preserve, which is open to the public daily for hiking, picnicking, birdwatching and wildlife viewing. The land also impacts the region’s water quality, water quantity, and timing of water flows and levels. Wetlands located within the property store and filter water that flows into both the Tatum Sawgrass Marsh and the Myakka River. The property also provides rich and diverse habitat for a variety of Florida wildlife.