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Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Janette Robbins


Harbor Branch Foundation Finalizes Land Sale

BOCA RATON, FL (March 22, 2010) The Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution Foundation, Inc., has completed a two part land deal by selling 384 acres of privately-owned property on the Indian River Lagoon to the State of Florida and St. Lucie County. Negotiations for the sale began shortly after Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) became a part of Florida Atlantic University in December 2007.

The sale valued at $24 million benefits the HBOI Foundation, a direct support organization for the educational and research activities at FAU Harbor Branch. “Our mission is to support the research, scholarship and service programs at FAU Harbor Branch. This is a tremendous step in perpetuating the next generation of ocean science research and technology,” said Jim Seitz, HBOI Foundation chairman. 

As part of the deal, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the State of Florida through the Department of Environmental Protection/Division of State Lands acquired 136 acres for lease back to the state for the FAU Harbor Branch campus. Through Florida Communities Trust, the Board acquired an additional 248 acres for the Indian River Lagoon Blueway.  In addition, the HBOI Foundation also transferred 6 acres directly to FAU for the FAU Harbor Branch campus.

The Indian River Lagoon Blueway is a Florida Forever acquisition plan spanning approximately 150 miles along the east and west sides of the Indian River Lagoon. This parcel will be used to increase estuarine habitat, improve pub­lic access and offer recreational opportunities through the St. Lucie County Environmental Resources Department and the St. Lucie County Mosquito Control and Coastal Management Services.

“We are very pleased to complete the sale to St. Lucie County. The Indian River Lagoon Blueway has received a tremendous asset, and the land will remain available as a living laboratory for Harbor Branch research,” said Seitz. 


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