Watershed restoration planned for Pepper Ranch Preserve in southwest Florida

Collier County (Florida) conservationists want to restore the natural watershed around Lake Trafford in Pepper Ranch.

The hope is to keep rain water on site a little longer before it naturally drains off into to Lake Trafford, said Alexandra Sulecki, principle environmental specialist and coordinator for Conservation Collier.

Basically, it would increase the wetland habitat,” Sulecki said. “It would keep water on land longer and have it stack up at the bottom of the preserve and sink into the ground and increase our aquifers.

The Pepper Ranch Preservation is the prize piece of land that the county bought through a special tax voters approved in 2002 and 2006. The county spent $32.5 million for the 2,500 acres in Immokalee in 2009.

The land abuts the eastern edge of the protected Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed, which bleeds into the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, providing tens of thousands of acres of uninterrupted wildlife.

The tax expired in 2013, after raising more than $100 million used to create 19 nature preserves on a total of 4,000 acres of conservation land throughout the county.

Photo of tree frog at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary by Storm Cunningham.

See full article & photo credit.

You must be logged in to post a comment