The GICIA (Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association) embarked on a fundraising campaign November 5, 2015 in an effort to raise over $20 million for purchase of the 30-acre Mercabo property at the entrance to Gasparilla Island. It took seven weeks to raise the money. They closed on property January 29, 2016.
GICIA’s goal is to restore the area back to a natural sanctuary for native wildlife and birds. They have received bids and will be executing contracts for the demolition of the nine Mercabo buildings in the very near future.
As a protected wildlife sanctuary the Preserve will have limited public access. There will be no public parking facilities. Access to the Preserve will be limited to GICIA sanctioned tours and educational events aimed at promoting ecologically sensitive land use.
For all the details visit GICIA’s website: http://www.thegicia.org/the-preserve-at-mercabo