Emerald Island Resort is nestled snugly in the centre of 360 acres of conserved wetland and woodland habitat, as far as the eye can see and further... The surrounding conservation area is designated as such to protect the natural environment for future generations.
The upland area where the resort has been built was originally a burnt citrus grove, and following checks for wildlife interest permission was granted for the development, as the only rare animal that would be affected - the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) - was to be given additional protection and still resides happily in the buffer zone maintained by Park Square for its continued growth.
The woodland areas contain a variety of pine flatwoods, and longleaf pine-zeric oak. The pines can be home for the majestic bald eagle - although I can assure you none were disturbed during the construction of the resort. One nest was registered approximately 1.4 miles west of the site and would suffer no impact from the building works that took place. A rare beargrass - Brittons beargrass (Nolina brittoniana) - is also protected and can be seen within the woodland preserve.
The wetland area - Davenport Creek Swamp - constitutes the largest wetland cover type located on and around the resort. Loblolly bay dominates the canopy. Slash pine and muscadine grape (vitus rotundifolia) appear at the outer edges of the wetland. Red bay (Persea borbonia), Dahoon holly (Ilex cassine), gallberry (Ilex glabra) and fetterbush (Lyonia fruticosa) are included in the understory vegetation. Cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamonea), Virginia chainfern (Woodwardia areolata) are present as ground cover.