Thousands of birds and hundreds of other wildlife live here. The course gives the wide open spaces and excellent lakes and water holes to feed and lounge near. We have Wood Storks (Endangered Species) that live here, plus Two Eagles, many hawks, Ospreys (they nest here), Owls (they nest here), Rosetta Spoonbills, Sandhill Cranes (threatened Species), Brazilian otters, raccoons, snakes, turtles of different types, armadillos, woodpeckers, white Ibis. All of these birds and animals either live here, nest here or feed here. This is truly a paradise for these animals in comparison to the congestion of Pinellas County the most densely populated County in the State of Florida!
Manatees use the Conservation Preservation area of the Tides Golf Course to keep themselves warm as the waters start to cool. They like the area because of the dark mud and clean water.
What is not realized is how many people that visit our County come here so they can enjoy our beaches , but also play on the Tides Golf Course. Visitors from Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, Spain, England, Canada, Ireland plus people from at least Twenty States in the USA come to this area because of the balanced recreation it provides! The Tides Golf Course is a big part of that balanced equation!
The Tides are in the black, they are making money as a golf course. The Tides Golfer attendance in 2012 was up over 2011 when other courses were in decline. The suppliers here all rave how well the Tides is doing attendance wise in comparison to competing golf courses. The course is averaging over 40,000 rounds of golf for the past 39 Years of its existence. This Feb., 2013 the Tides Golf Course will have its 40th Birthday.
The West end of the Tides is a Conservation Preservation area, guarded by Mangroves, forms one of the neatest estuaries in our area and contains all kinds of Snook, Trout, Red Fish, Black Drum, Sheephead, plus a play ground and area of protection for the Manatee. Mullet by the thousands call our area their home. They are so thick back there at times, you swear you could walk on them.
The Tides is a water shed protecting the Conservation Preservation area that is on the South End of the Tides Golf Course. It traps the Storm Water cascading off the neighborhoods, allowing them to be cleaned, absorbed by the earth and some eventually making it to the Aquifer. This water shed has also eliminated the flooding issues we had a number of years ago.
The surrounding neighborhood is already overbuilt, with only one main road out-66TH Ave. North. This is an emergency and Hurricane Evacuation issue.
What the County will gain in taxes from these homes they will lose in Tax revenue from the Visitors that will find somewhere else that makes that special package of recreation they will lose with the Tides. That could be up to $1,214,000 annually in loss Visitor Taxes versus the $770,000 taxes generated by the 230 or so residence that will be built on the golf course.
Pinellas is the Most Densely Populated County in Florida. There are 3,339 people per square mile in Pinellas County. The next closest county with a highly concentrated population is Broward with 1,347 people per square mile. The Census says there are 945,000 residents (est) make Pinellas County the 5th most populous in the state. It is the 2nd smallest county in the State of Florida. Source: http://www.pinellascounty.org/facts.htm
More than 17,852,361 visitors to Pinellas County Parks in Fiscal Year 2006. Source: http://www.pinellascounty.org/facts.htm
Pinellas County is in the position of becoming the first County in the state of Florida – and one of only a few in the nation - to reach “build-out”. At the time of this publication, only 6% of the County remains vacant, developable land. (http://www.pinellascounty.org/park/pdf/master-plan.pdf )
Increase Protection for Regional Parks and Preserves (page 5): A common theme throughout the planning process was the need for increased protection for the County’s incredible system of Preserves and passive Regional Parks. As the County urbanizes; as vacant land becomes scarce; and as the demand for active recreation facilities increases, the Preserves and Regional Parks are coming under increasing pressure for recreational development. The County needs to resist this pressure in order to protect these priceless resources for future generations, and find other ways to meet residents’ active recreation needs. http://www.pinellascounty.org/park/pdf/master-plan.pdf