Protect 'Guana's Missing Piece' from Development
The Outpost, a privately-owned 99-acre parcel of land that's surrounded on all sides by the Guana Preserve, has been relatively untouched for 35 years. This ecologically-sensitive land is important to wildlife, water quality, and flood mitigation and serves as a buffer between the protected resource of Guana and suburban sprawl.
The Outpost is now being threatened with development, as the suggested site of a new subdivision. The organization 'Save Guana Now' was formed to spread awareness of this plan, and to protect this environmentally significant land from being lost forever.
The 12,000 acres of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estaurine Research Reserve (GTMNERR) were set aside for conservation and ecological research in 1984. The reserve contains the Guana Preserve, and is great place to go for recreation in nature. Many different habitats are represented in the preserve, some rarely found elsewhere in Florida, and as a result Guana is home to a number of sensitive and at-risk species, both plant and animal.
The Outpost is owned by the Ponte Vedra Corporation, a subsidiary of Gate Petroleum.
PVC is considering selling the Outpost to Dream Finders Homes to build a subdivision of 77 houses. 26 along the water's edge, with little buffer
they would be viewable from the lake and other points within the preserve. construction 10 yrs
To do so the land use would have to be changed to residential, which must be done through the courts.
Gate is suing St. Johns County to have it rezoned residential.
The organization Save Guana Now was formed to protect this environmentally
significant land from development.
What's at risk:
Destroying current habitat
The Outpost's depression marsh recharges the acquifer; any recharge area east of I-95 is rare
Jim McCarthy, Executive Director of North Florida Land Trust told the Times Union "The wetlands and forests of The Outpost are important for flood retention and water filtration. The wetlands serve as a buffer when the water level rises and help prevent flooding in areas farther upland. Wetlands in and around The Outpost are part of the reserve’s natural water filtration system, taking out pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus. This filtration sustains the reserve’s numerous ecosystems."
Endangering existing protected habitat
Guana Preserve contains "critically endangered habitat"
Hundreds of animal species live in the preserve, 17 of them Threatened or Species of Special Concern.
Important migratory stop for birds Over 300 species of birds have been sighted in Guana preserve - a number of them imperiled. A critical habitat for migratory birds, every acre of land that can be preserved must be preserved. "
Trash, noise, light pollution.
Development ruins views for nature lovers too.
Pollution of the estauary
The Outpost borders pristine Guana River for nearly a mile.
Fertilizers, pesticides, oil, dirt run-off i
only National Estuarine Research Reserve on Florida's east coast.
What's the alternative?
What can be done?
North Florida Land Trust would like to buy if PVC consents,says:
outpost meets every ecological criterion for conservation
Save Guana Now fundraising to hire legal experts. In addition to the excellent land use attorney we have retained, we are fortunate to have many citizens providing expert advise to us pro bono, including three attorneys and an environmental engineer.
Our efforts to stop development at the Outpost are endorsed by North Florida Land Trust, Sierra Club of Northeast Florida, Northeast Florida Audubon Society and 1000 Friends of Florida.
Save Guana Now is a Not for Profit Corporation, that has received federal tax exempt status under IRC Section 501(c) (3). Donors can deduct contributions to Save Guana Now under IRC Section 170.
If you'd like to hike all ten miles of trails in Guana, join our "Guanathalon" in which we'll hike two or three miles per outing. Watch your emails for details.
Gather together for hikes for dogs and humans alike, kayaking and canoeing, biking, birding and exploring the trails with camera in hand.
We're also planning our big fundraiser in the spring: the Save Guana Gala. Join us for dinner under a full moon on Guana Lake overlooking the Outpost - If you'd like to volunteer to help make our fundraiser a success, drop us a line at info@SaveGuanaNow.org. There are all kinds of ways you can pitch in. Help us keep the "fun" in fundraiser
Order a bumper sticker. (And PLEASE put it on your car!)
Once the land is gone, it’s gone forever. Let’s Save Guana Now.