The Friends of the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves (FCHAP) is a Citizen Support Organization for the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves 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. (We’ll soon have a link to projects supported.)

FCHAP is a nonprofit Citizen Support Organization (CSO) that 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 by visiting their Facebook page.

FCHAP mission is 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 estuaries including Lemon Bay, Gasparilla Sound/Charlotte Harbor, Cape Haze, Pine Island Sound, and Matlacha Pass.

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 becoming a member, volunteering (we’ll provide more on volunteer opportunities soon) and by joining the Board. 

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

Board members for 2017-2018 are Liz Donley, President; Maran Hilgendorf, Vice President; David Moe, Treasurer; Cathy Olson, Secretary; and Gary Brooks, Director; Wilma Katz, Director; and Bob Leonard, Director. 

Feel free to contact us at info@fchap.org.