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Proposed Florida Keys Ecolodge

A Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based firm with eco-tourism experience announced a concept for a new sportfishing ecolodge in Islamorada, Florida, in the Florida Keys.

The company, EDSA, presented the concept for Sportfishing Ecolodge located on roughly seven-and-a half-acres at Mile Marker 83 between the Overseas Highway to the ocean side of the Old Highway. Bert Vorstman, a commercial property developer and a sportsman and environmental advocate, owns the property.

The Eco-Sustainable Lodge designation will incorporate specific enhanced design requirements to improve the ecology of The Village of Islamorada and introduce a high quality, sustainable design to the Keys.

“We think this project sets a new positive direction for future development in The Keys,” said Joseph Lalli, EDSA Chairman.“The goals of the Village of Islamorada, which has already embraced and is implementing in its own operations, are in step with the deeper initiatives set by ecolodges around the world. The opportunity now is to create a premier example of an ecolodge designed exclusively to demonstrate the best possible attributes of the Florida Keys.”

Pans call for approximately 60 guest bedrooms. The clustering of structures incorporates the seven structures of the ecolodge into an enhanced eco-sensitive environment while maintaining a residential design, open-space feeling. The main lodge incorporates the arrival area, common dining and gathering spaces with five connected casitas providing guest bedrooms.

The project will indluce storm-water control, engery efficency, water efficiency and affordable housing for employees. Another key component, according to EDSA planners, will be the opportunity and requirement to substantially improve a minimum of three ecosystems within the boundaries of the ecolodge. The site contains Impacted Hardwood Hammock, Disturbed Wetlands, Impacted Dunes, Sand Beach shoreline, Mangrove shoreline and Submerged shoreline. The goal is to exceed the protection of these habitats as the design must enhance the existing system and make it functional to ensure long-term survivability of the system.

The EDSA design team has been involved in environmental/eco-tourism design around the world for many years, incorporating some 38 projects in China, Africa, South America, Central America, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Hawaii.