Today, the Lee County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a critical land conservation deal. Long supported by Audubon, commissioners approved a plan that included buying Edison Farms, a 4,000-acre parcel of critical bird and wildlife habitat.
"This is a smart move by county commissioners," said Brad Cornell, Audubon Florida's Southwest Florida policy associate. "If Edison Farms were to be developed, communities downstream would be left dealing with the devastating impacts of increased flooding and runoff."
The parcel is located within the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW), which spans more than 60,000 acres in Southwest Florida. CREW lands provide natural flood protection while recharging the region's aquifer. Scientists from Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary plan to assist in the restoration and management plans of Edison Farms.
Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Director Jason Lauritsen was equally positive, saying, “Preserving and restoring wetlands in this part of the CREW landscape will give an important lift to the Sanctuary’s iconic and Threatened Wood Stork rookery.”