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. P.I.E. supports programs that help Island homeowners to understand some of the unique aspects of living here and help us all to become better stewards of our land.
In 2015 volunteers from P.I.E.'s Environmental Committee established an organization that evolved into the Bocilla Islands Conservancy, Inc. BICI assumed the responsibilities of our Wildlife and Habitat Preservation Program (WHPP) whose mission statement was "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".
Vacant Lot Inventories:
Getting ready to build a new home? BICI 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, BICI 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.