Islamorada-based nonprofit Florida Bay Forever Save Our Waters has found a new home at the Green Turtle Hammock Nature Preserve. Located in the heart of Islamorada, the 11-acre conservation property is complete with a trail system and direct access to Florida Bay. 

In February, the Islamorada Village Council approved the final operating agreement with the environmental nonprofit.

“We are elated to reach this milestone and are thrilled to execute our vision at the site,” said Emma Haydocy, executive director of Florida Bay Forever. “We have been working with staff for over a year to develop an agreement that honors the existing property requirements and exercises the full potential of the site as an environmental learning center for the village, its residents and the many visitors to our island chain every year.”

Florida Bay Forever is basing operations at the Russell Cottage. The local historic landmark will be transformed into the Florida Bay Eco-Center, a nature center where the nonprofit will immerse visitors in the environment of the Florida Keys and offer engaging, experiential educational programs year-round.

Florida Bay Forever Save Our Waters Inc. is an Islamorada-based nonprofit that has worked remotely since its inception in 2016 to provide Florida Bay and restoration-focused conservation initiatives locally in the Florida Keys. Moving operations to Green Turtle Hammock Nature Preserve is the next step to build on existing programs and amplify the organization’s impact at a brick-and-mortar location. 

The nonprofit is launching a stewardship campaign and developing site plans for the Florida Bay Eco-Center. 

“We are asking far and wide within the greater Islamorada community to support this exciting endeavor,” Haydocy said. “We have the opportunity to provide the experience of Florida Bay to our visitors and residents from the nature’s classroom at Green Turtle Hammock Nature Preserve. 

“Everglades National Park is our backyard, and we want to establish the Florida Keys gateway to the largest wilderness area east of the Rockies,” she continued. “It’s a unique opportunity, and we are dedicated to creating a site and experience unlike any other in Islamorada.”More information is available from Haydocy at 786-572-7051 or email [email protected]

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