Santa Rosa County, in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Trust for Public Land, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), has acquired three tracts of land, together called Creets Landing, totaling 545 acres to create a county preserve in Navarre, FL.
The Creets Landing acquisition will prevent the loss, fragmentation and degradation of habitat for the federally endangered reticulated flatwoods salamander, Gulf sturgeon, and red-cockaded woodpeckers, while also providing recreation opportunities and mitigating flooding risk in southern Santa Rosa County.
“The Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners is proud to be part of such a historic conservation effort,” said Commission Chairman Colten Wright, District 5. “This is an example of what can be accomplished when so many people come together to work toward a common goal. While projects like this don’t happen quickly, it is important that we continue to seek out similar opportunities and work diligently to achieve them for the benefit of future generations.”
Conservation furthers the goals of the Northwest Florida Sentinel Landscape where natural and working lands thrive alongside military installations and ranges. The Creets Landing properties are within the designated landscape and adjacent to the Eglin Air Force Base.
“As are many coastal Florida communities, Santa Rosa County is working to alleviate stormwater and coastal flooding and beach erosion that threaten homes, businesses and people. Preserving the few remaining natural lands in Navarre is a proven strategy to reduce the risk,” said Doug Hattaway, Senior Project Manager for Trust for Public Land. “Creets Landing will offer public hiking trails and wildlife viewing opportunities to connect more people to the outdoors and TPL is proud to continue to work with our dedicated partners to increase recreational opportunities and build coastal resiliency.”
The acquisition was made possible with funds from the FWS’s Endangered Species Recovery Land Acquisition Program, which helps conserve habitat for endangered species, and Santa Rosa County. More information about Creets Landing can be found online at www.tpl.org/our-work/creets-landing.
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About Trust for Public Land
TPL is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 4 million acres of public land, created more than 5,364 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $93 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.4 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.