These Barrier Islands are our Garden of Eden, our very own paradise. For some of us, it's our place to escape. For others it's for our future retirement. And for some of us, it's our incredible one and only home! But it's safe to say, that for all of us, we picked this place for its natural beauty and habitat, for its beautiful beaches and waterways, and for its quaint quietude. P.I.E. asks that you join us in protecting and preserving the unique natural resources and wildlife habitat on and around these environmentally fragile barrier islands.
WILDLIFE and HABITAT PRESERVATION PROGRAM
Our Wildlife and Habitat Preservation Program (WHPP) Mission Statement is "to work with property owners, builders, realtors, landscapers and others to increase their awareness and understanding of the natural world and to encourage participation in its preservation...so that together, we can minimize the dramatic, negative effect that increased building projects have on wildlife and the native, coastal habitat we share".
Life on a barrier island comes with distinct environmental responsibilities. What we do with our properties individually can affect everything and everyone living on or near the islands. WHPP helps Island homeowners to understand some of the unique aspects of living here and helps us all to become better stewards of our land.
Our activities include educational programs, free-of-charge services and interactive programs to promote environmental awareness. They include:
WHPP Environmental Packets:
A slew of valuable educational materials and information about our Island, wrapped up in a tidy packet, is distributed gratis to realtors, builders and new property owners.
Vacant Lot Inventories:
Getting ready to build a new home? WHPP volunteers will inventory vacant lots free of charge to find ways to build that have the least impact on native habitat. They help with lot preparation guidelines, like teaching homeowners and their contractors habitat awareness, how to gauge and mark tree sites for preservation and identifying gopher tortoise burrows.
Sabal Palm and Native Plant Adoption/Relocation Program:
Following up on the vacant lot inventories, WHPP will help coordinate the relocation of trees and plants by finding adoptive home sites for Sabal Palms, muhli grass and other native vegetation. Since its inception, 163 native sabal palms have been saved and relocated from building lots.
The “Wildlife Friendly Yard” Certification Program:
This special certification means your yard meets certain defined criteria for providing valuable wildlife habitat, and helps to preserve the integrity of our ecosystem. Members that apply successfully are rewarded with a free “Wildlife Friendly Yard” sign.
Batch Septic Pumping
P.I.E. Environmental and SOS Septic team up each year to coordinate septic tank pump-outs for septics without the aerobic treatment system. Island neighbors who participate in the batch pump-outs get a great rate, a savings on barge fees and convenient scheduling.
SOS will batch 5 houses together on a single day for a special price plus a 5-way split of the barge fee. You will need to pay by cash or check at time of service.
Batch pump-outs are offered each Spring. Check the Island News in January for the pump-out notice.
FYI: Good septic maintenance will prevent problems down the road, and is vitally important to the island environment! Here are some recommendations from the Department of Health and SOS Septic:
Pump tank every 3-5 years (2-3 if you use a garbage disposal)
Do not use Rid-X or other chemicals in your sinks or toilets
Avoid using or minimal use of bleach in laundry or sinks