State Awards Selby $1.4M for Shoreline Restoration

Todays News

It’s been nearly two years since Marie Selby Botanical Gardens took over Spanish Point. Now, the Sarasota organization will make a substantial investment in the Osprey campus.

The Florida legislature on Monday approved a state budget that includes $1.4 million for land restoration.

“The amount secured for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens by Senator Gruters and Representative McFarland is $1.4 million for our Historic Spanish Point campus. 

“With this important funding, we will be able to protect the shoreline of our invaluable 30-acre Historic Spanish Point campus on Little Sarasota Bay, which is very vulnerable to storms and erosion,” said Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens. “As a result, we will reduce runoff, improve the quality of state waters and protect historic structures important to the State of Florida. There is 5,000 years of Florida history to be protected on this campus.”

The money will be matched with a little more than $1 million provided by Selby through other sources.

Gruters said landing money to enhance Selby Gardens was a top priority for him heading into this year’s legislative session. The details were presented last year at the Sarasota County Legislative Delegation.

A state appropriations requests emphasized the environmental benefits that come from the project. “This necessary improvement will protect the shoreline on pristine Sarasota Bay, including mangroves, vulnerable to storms and erosion,” it said. “… The site has two flood zones in the highest risk for annual flooding and one internal flood zone of moderate risk. Shoreline erosion is already present. It is critical now to reduce runoff, improve quality of State waters, and protect historic structures important to the State of Florida.”

The need when verified through an analysis by OLIN Studios in September 2020.

That advances Selby’s scientific mission in addition to improving a public land enjoyed by the general public. Selby will monitor the shoreline for the facility in the future. Spanish Point has seen a 118% increase in attendance since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

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