Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers organization raises $9,000 for Conservation Foundation of Gulf Coast

Funds to support nonprofit’s ‘mission to protect the land and water of Southwest Florida for the benefit of people and nature’

Photo courtesy Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast

The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast recently received a $9,000 donation from the Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers (MCFF), the nonprofit has announced.

The donation will support the Conservation Foundation’s “mission to protect the land and water of Southwest Florida for the benefit of people and nature,” a news release says. The MCFF had selected the not-for-profit land trust as the beneficiary of its 2024 Fly Fishing Film Tour fundraising event, the release explains.

“The annual Fly Fishing Film Tour is a traveling roadshow of the best fly fishing films submitted from around the world,” the release points out. “Each show aims to create community while inspiring, encouraging, and supporting worldwide conservation initiatives,” the release continues. The MCFF showing featured an emcee, silent and live auctions, “and door prizes from premium sponsors and local fly shops,” the release adds. The fundraiser, which took place earlier this year at the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center in Sarasota, raised just under $9,000; the MCFF Board donated the difference, the release says.

Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers was established in 1996 by a group of dedicated fly-fishing enthusiasts residing in Sarasota, the release continues. The organization hosts monthly member meetings and is among “avid supporters of local conservation efforts,” the release notes. “Club members assist in seagrass surveys, help tag and release hatchery-reared snook and redfish, and teach fly fishing skills to students and disabled veterans.”

At the Conservation Foundation’s annual Wild About Nature festival earlier this year, MCFF members taught children how to tie flies, the release adds. The organization also partners with Project Healing Waters, another local nonprofit, which “utilizes the restorative powers of nature alongside a dedicated curriculum of fly fishing, fly casting, fly tying, and rod building to help disabled veterans as well as active and retired military,” the release explains. Those monthly meetings are held at the Conservation Foundation’s Bay Preserve headquarters in Osprey.

“We are so very grateful to the Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers for their commitment to conservation and for selecting Conservation Foundation as the beneficiary of this year’s event,” said Christine P. Johnson, president of the Conservation Foundation, in the release. “The land we save together with our conservation community is critical to the health of local waters. This generous donation will allow us to save more land and in turn help safeguard fishable, swimmable, and drinkable water throughout Southwest Florida,” she added.

“Land conservation is essential to protecting water quality because what happens on the land directly impacts the quality of the water flowing through and from it,” the release points out. “In natural areas, such as marshes, prairies, grasslands, and forests, rainfall soaks into the soil, where it is naturally cleaned and stored. In more urban and industrialized areas, instead of soaking into the soil, water flows directly over the pavement, picking up pollution, fertilizers, and other contaminants before ending up in rivers, bays, and, ultimately, the Gulf.

Conserving land ensures its ability to clean and store water for generations to come,” the release adds. “This reduces the amount of pollution that ends up in Southwest Florida’s water bodies and helps safeguard water quality and quantity in the region.”

The Conservation Foundation’s work ”to permanently conserve both inland and coastal habitats protects local waters and helps ensure the sustainability of fish stocks, shellfish populations, and other marine resources,” which, in turn, “supports the long-term viability of commercial and recreational fishing opportunities around the state,” the release notes.

To donate to the Conservation Foundation, visit To learn more about Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers, visit

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