Email insights: North Florida Land Trust makes its biggest land buy ever


The nonprofit conservation organization the North Florida Land Trust has said in an email to supporters and media outlets that it has closed on “the biggest land purchase in NFLT’s 16-year history.”

The parcel is 2,551 acres along the Nassau River. It was the largest piece of unprotected land in the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.

“This is an incredibly important acquisition to the Land Trust,” said Jim McCarthy, executive director of NFLT. “It is important not only because of its size but also because of the environmental benefits and the opportunity to convey it to a long-term partner, the National Park Service, to be protected and managed forever.”

McCarthy says North Florida Land Trust bought the property for $750,000 from the estate of Theodore Carey, an investor who died in 2014. NFLT is in negotiations to sell the land to the National Park Service.

The property is located along an 11-mile stretch from Interstate 95 to the Nassau Sound. It largely consists of marshland that protects the oyster reefs, saltwater and brackish cordgrass and black needle rush marshes that spread out for miles along the river’s edge. Those marsh habitats form critical nursery for most of the commercial and recreational sports fish as well as foraging grounds for the shore and wading birds.

The property also includes what was a potentially developable 40-acre island next to I-95. The parcels are located in both Duval and Nassau counties and include all the marshes off the northern end of Black Hammock Island surrounding the Eagle Bend Island community north of Yellow Bluff Road in Jacksonville and more than 800 acres of marsh along I-95.

The NFLT has been on a roll lately, buying up large parcels and flexing its political muscle as well. Last month, the group urged the Duval legislative delegation to use more Amendment 1 money to buy conservation land. The appeal came amid an ongoing court battle over what some environmental groups around Florida call a misappropriation of the funds.

Melissa Ross

In addition to her work writing for Florida Politics, Melissa Ross also hosts and produces WJCT’s First Coast Connect, the Jacksonville NPR/PBS station’s flagship local call-in public affairs radio program. The show has won four national awards from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). First Coast Connect was also recognized in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 as Best Local Radio Show by Folio Weekly’s “Best Of Jax” Readers Poll and Melissa has also been recognized as Folio Weekly’s Best Local Radio Personality. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards. The 904 examined Jacksonville’s status as Florida’s murder capital. During her years in broadcast television, Melissa picked up three additional Emmys for news and feature reporting. Melissa came to WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. Married with two children, Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism/Communications. She can be reached at [email protected]

One comment

  • Mike Metzgar

    December 22, 2015 at 7:17 am

    HELLO! Did these folks get the memo that NPS has more land holdings than they can maintain?

Comments are closed.


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