Monday, July 9 –
The main event was getting out with Lee Amos, the Land Steward for the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast and Jennifer McGann, Summer Intern on an inspection of the Pine Island Preserve at Matlacha Pass. Lee used his routine of checking on points of progress to coach Jennifer on finer points of conservation. He shared his knowledge of South Florida’s ecosystems with Daniel and I as well. First hand exposure to this specific site was eye-opening. Ongoing herbicide treatments and controlled burns are employed to eradicate invasive species as well as to shepherd native animals and plants.
The site plan for Pine Island Preserve at Matlacha Pass is based upon the gopher turtle as the keystone animal . We had the privilege of meeting a young gopher turtle, a little hairy brown caterpillar and we saw the tiny pawpaw plant native to South Florida.