Help Us: Save an Ecological Gem in the Treasure Coast!
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State Preserves and Parks are not supposed to be used for development of roads and bridges. Taxpayer dollars purchase preserve and park land so that future generations can enjoy them and to provide ecological benefits specific to the area where they are created. The City of Port St. Lucie and the St. Lucie County Transportation Planning Organization have chosen to violate public trust and the sanctity of the Savannas Preserve State Park by planning to construct the Crosstown Parkway Bridge in the center of the Halpatiokee Buffer Preserve, an extraordinarily sensitive section of the Savannas Preserve.
This buffer preserve protects the North Fork of the St Lucie River – a key tributary of the Indian River Lagoon, by filtering water before it reaches the river. This section of the preserve also has 7 different ecosystems, high functioning wetlands, and the most critical essential fish habitat supporting more rare fish species than any other estuary in the United States, with incredible bird, mammal, fish and plant diversity. The planned bridge route 1C will result in the destruction of the majority of the Halpatiokee preserve, including its vital ecosystems and habitat that can never be restored. Some of the species this route will affect are Snook, Tarpon, Bigmouth Sleeper, Gopher Tortoise, Bobcat, River Otter, and Osprey. Additionally, this route choice, out of 5, will cost taxpayers $40 million more than the other, less ecologically and environmentally damaging route options.
We need to act now to tell Mayor Oravec, and the St. Lucie County Transportation Planning Organization to choose a different route. Once the damage is done, by allowing this project to proceed, it can never be reversed. There are viable, less damaging, less costly, alternative routes that take no parkland and cause much less ecological damage. We must hold our elected officials accountable for moving the bridge and protecting our preserve and park lands. Please support our effort so that the Halpatiokee Buffer Preserve of the Savannas Preserve State Park will remain intact for generations to come, to preserve a critical game fish habitat, and to continue to provide clean water for the St. Lucie River for all locals and tourists to enjoy.
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