GICIA asks everyone to consider the importance of Mercabo purchase

■ BY MISTY NICHOLS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE GICIAmarcabo old site

The GICIA has set its sights on Mercabo (the 30-acre parcel at the entrance to the Boca Grande Causeway). With the threat of development looming and Charlotte County again amending their comprehensive plan to allow for an increase in density from the current 3.5 units up to as much as 65 units per acre (within the coastal high hazard area of the Cape Haze Peninsula), GICIA feels that Boca Grande is facing a “perfect storm.”

The GICIA urges everyone interested in protecting Boca Grande’s charm well into the future to go to GICIA’s website to find out more regarding our efforts to raise $20,600,000 to purchase the Mercabo property.

Once purchased, the GICIA’s vision is to add this parcel to the GICIA’s Land Conservancy, which already owns and manages over 200 acres, creating “The GICIA Preserve.” The plan would be to completely restore this parcel to its natural condition, providing much-needed habitat for native birds and wildlife.

GICIA is currently working to secure pledges, and the Board will reconvene in mid-December to assess the status of the fundraising and to vote on whether to proceed to closing the transaction on January 15, 2016.

Please follow the link below to find out more about this time-sensitive and very important project. You can print a pledge form off the website or call or stop by the office and pick one up. Our phone number is (941)964-2667, and we are located in the Boca Grande Community Center in Room #8. The GICIA mailing address is PO Box 446, Boca Grande, FL 33921, and our fax number is 964-0259.

Our website address is thegicia.org/mercabo-proposalfundraising-effort/ Thank you in advance for your support of this important effort.