We envision a future where southwest Florida’s unique landscape is protected for the benefit of both nature and people. Generations to come will experience the rich natural bounty of our land and waters and develop personal connections to this place we love. Our Strategic Plan shares our roadmap for achieving our vision.
Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast works with you to save land, forever, preserving those special natural lands that shape our cultural heritage, make our region extraordinary, and our quality of life superb. We partner with landowners, businesses, and government to protect the character, natural integrity and biodiversity of the bays, beaches, barrier islands and their watersheds on Florida’s Gulf Coast. By purchasing natural areas, holding land preservation agreements and educating for responsible land and water stewardship, we protect the environmental excellence of our lands and waters, and preserve the natural beauty and enhance our collective enjoyment in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee Counties.
In 2003, a passionate group of residents loving our beautiful coastal region were concerned about its fragility. They banded together and formed a conservation community with the intent to protect the exquisite bays, beaches, barrier islands and watersheds that define the character and ecology of our region. The mission to save land forever was imperative as they realized that conservation was a necessity not a luxury. Fueled by their passion for the land and waterways, they worked collaboratively to save lands integral to our way of life.
Early successes supported the connection of people enjoying natural spaces and include a grant from Gulf Coast Community Foundation to purchase a parking lot in downtown Venice to turn into an urban park, and a $6.6 million grant from Florida Forever to purchase Bay Preserve and ensure permanent public access to Little Sarasota Bay.
In 2010, Conservation Foundation received national accreditation, a prestigious designation signifying a track record of sound governance, excellent practices and measurable impact in land conservation. In 2015, your voices shaped Conservation Foundation’s five-year strategic plan which outlines priorities for selecting lands with the highest conservation value, setting the course to preserve those special natural lands that make our region extraordinary.
Today, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast is the “go-to” for conservation insight and strategy in the region and beyond. With the permanent protection of Triangle Ranch in October 2016, our accomplishment of land protected exceeds 9,700 acres, more than 15 square miles. Thank you for your faith and unwavering support, and for shaping the Foundation's ambitious goals for the future of the region.
In August 2016, Conservation Foundation was awarded renewed accreditation by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission. This designation is a mark of distinction and signifies that Conservation Foundation meets national standards of excellence, upholds the public's trust and ensures conservation efforts that are permanent.