Manatee County located on the Gulf of Mexico in west central Florida is home to one of the largest ecosystems of its kind in the world. This area is one of the largest wetlands in the region and forms headwaters to rivers in the area supplying about fifteen percent of the water flow in the Peace River basin. This particular region of Florida is used for fresh water reserves, cattle, agriculture, and newly populated residential neighborhoods. This ecologically critical region is populated with pristine rivers, creeks, springs, aquifers, ponds, and lakes. (1) Both floras and fauna flourish in these unique environmental habitats, from abundant marine life to healthy populations of deer, possibly bears, wild hogs, along with a host of other wildlife.
The Peace River headwaters in west central Florida are naturally spring fed by local aquifers "contained" in the landscape. The River "meanders" some 120 miles to the Charlotte Harbor estuary, numerous small springs continuously feed the river along the way with fresh, clear aquifer water. The Peace River headwaters and watersheds are a critical link in the environmental health chain for all floras and fauna in the region and downstream over one hundred miles to Charlotte Harbor.
The Peace River watershed lies in west central Florida about forty miles east of the Tampa Bay area. Florida's Peace River was declared an "endangered river" by "American Rivers.org," a non-profit organization committed to protecting and restoring North American rivers.