AquaNew’s corporate headquarters is adjacent to the Myakka Island, over 120,000 acres of preservation and conservation area within Sarasota County, Florida (Southwest Florida). We are located along Shep’s Island, a large wetland slough south of the Upper Lake within the largest State Park in Florida, the Myakka River State Park. The Myakka River is a designated Florida Outstanding Wild and Scenic River.
Dana Gourley, COO of AquaNew, found her Myakka Valley ranch home back in 1987 (Rob and her built the backyard office building in 1999). Dana began her environmental career in the mid-1970’s doing field work to identify and map wetlands as part of initiatives of the new U.S. Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
A collaboration of conservation organizations have been working on protecting the native habitats associated with the headwaters of the Myakka River located north in Manatee County. The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast recently announced permanent protection of the 543-acre Murphy Marsh that links three different Myakka River conservation areas within Manatee County: Triangle Ranch, Lettuce Lakes and Tatum Sawgrass Scrub Preserve. Plans are underway to reduce the flooding downstream of the 2,500-acre Tatum Sawgrass marsh and increase habitat for animals such as the wood stork, deer, snook and the endangered Florida panther.
Photo credits to Glenn Gardner (first photo near the title above of the Tatum Sawgrass Preserve, the headwaters of the Myakka River) and Damon Powers (second photo directly above of the wildflowers growing in the swamp between the Upper and Lower Lakes within the Myakka River State Park)