The Friends of the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves (FCHAP) is a nonprofit Citizen Support Organization to support the protection, conservation, restoration, management, responsible public use, and the enhancement of the resources of the coastal and aquatic ecosystems of the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves, including Lemon Bay, Gasparilla Sound/Charlotte Harbor, Cape Haze, Pine Island Sound, and Matlacha Pass, and the Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park. Established in 1995, the Friends provide funding, material, and volunteer support for staff to facilitate management of the Park and Preserves. FCHAP assists the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) in the management of Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves and the Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park. FCHAP is comprised of a Board of Directors, citizen members, and volunteers who are committed to protecting Charlotte Harbor and the adjacent public lands.

FCHAP is a member organization of Aquatic Preserve Society, Inc., a citizen support group working for the betterment of Florida’s 41 Aquatic Preserves. Learn more.

FCHAP goals are to:

• Increase public awareness through involvement in educational programs, resource-based activities, and special events.
• Develop stewardship for our estuaries and our public lands.
• Improve and restore the natural and cultural resources of the greater Charlotte Harbor estuaries.
• Establish and maintain cooperative efforts with organizations, institutions, and government agencies involved in environmental protection.

Support this work!
You can support this important work by donating, by becoming a member, becoming a volunteer, and by joining the Board.

The FCHAP Board holds six to eight meetings a year at 5:45 p.m. on the second Monday. Meetings are not normally held in June, July, November, or December. New board members and officers are chosen at the annual meeting, which is held between March and June. The meetings are usually at the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves office (12301 Burnt Store Road, Punta Gorda, FL 33955) and virtual. For information about meeting times and access, please contact [email protected].

Board members are Liz Donley, President; Bob Leonard, Vice President; Cathy Olson, Treasurer; Brooke Leskin, Secretary; and Directors Dave Hersl, Maran Hilgendorf, Annisa Karim and Wilma Katz.