Land trust group needs help to rebuild research dock after Matthew

Hurricane left key biological field station twisted, mangled, organization says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - North Florida Land Trust lost an important part of its biological field station on Big Talbot Island during Hurricane Matthew.

The 300-foot dock that provided critical water access for researchers and educators was twisted and destroyed in the storm. Now NFLT must come up with more than $40,000 to replace the structure and the organization is asking for the public’s help.

“Researchers to the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve were able to use that dock in order to access the water to conduct their work,” said Jim McCarthy, executive director of NFLT. “The Florida Master Naturalist Program used it for educational purposes and it was the launching point for our interpretative kayak tours. It was a critical part of our field station and we are now hoping we can raise enough money to replace it.”

The dock was located at the Talbot House Biological Field Station on Houston Avenue on Big Talbot Island. In addition to the research work, the dock was the kayak launch during the group's annual fundraisers, like the upcoming Salt Marsh Brewgrass Festival on Nov. 19. NFLT is evaluating alternative options for a kayak launch for the festival.

If you would like to help with the rebuilding of the dock, you can donate online at http://www.northfloridalandtrust.org/matthewdamage/, send your donation for the dock to 2038 Gilmore St., Jacksonville, FL 32204 or contact Jim McCarthy at 904-479-1967 or at jmccarthy@northfloridalandtrust.org.

In addition to the dock, Talbot House lost many trees in the storm. NFLT’s headquarters on Gilmore Street in Riverside also suffered damage. It had several large tree branches come down and a large tree in the river-friendly garden is now leaning and will have to be removed. NFLT is thankful that no one in its land trust family suffered any personal losses during the storm.

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