Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Steve Suau selected to guide management of Quads at Celery Fields

Steve Suau had served on the Stormwater Advisory Committee and then as Sarasota County Stormwater Director when the plan to manage floodwaters endangering homes on Phillippi Creek took form. 

Along with former Commissioner Jon Thaxton and a few others, Suau laid the groundwork for what has become a phenomenal asset: The Celery Fields Water Management Area, now home to the Audubon Nature Center, protects homes from high water, cleanses Phillippi Creek of nutrients, provides a much-loved recreation area, and has created wetlands and uplands offering habitat for hundreds of nesting and migrating bird species. (Story below from Sarasota Magazine.)

The Celery Fields (photo: Tom Matrullo)

The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast and Sarasota Audubon Society have announced the selection of the Quad Parcels Project owners’ representative: Steve Suau of Progressive Water Resources. As owners’ representative, Suau will assist both organizations in managing the project from beginning to end, which will improve wildlife habitat, buffer the Celery Fields from industrial use and I-75 to the west, and provide low-impact public access. The 33 acres will buffer the western edge of the environmentally sensitive Celery Fields, a nationally recognized birding hotspot that is a vital part of Sarasota County’s water quality and flood protection system for the Phillippi Creek watershed.

In October 2020, the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners approved a unique public-private partnership, which gifted a conservation easement on the northeast, southeast and southwest quads parcels to Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast—ensuring protection forever—and contracted with Sarasota Audubon Society to improve habitat and manage the properties. The draft design is expected to be announced in the next few months. The two nonprofits are fundraising for the project and anticipate a public campaign kickoff later this year. For more information, click here.

The "Quads":

The Quads Parcels - County Photo 

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