Pine Island Incorporation
You really have to go to Pine Island to get the feel of the place. But it is unique in ways far beyond tarpon season.
We know Pine Island very well. The town is not very big, actually; it is a tiny island in the mouth of Charlotte Harbor. Known as Matlacha-Pine Island, the locale has been a place we used to go to every year. Renting houses there would put us (and our boats) right next to the action in tarpon season. It was bad back then - crowded by guides that felt they owned the place - but it was definitely livable. From what we hear now, the tarpon season is just insane, with reality tv making inroads into - and killing plenty of - our tarpon fishery.
But that all aside, according to residents, incorporation of the island community would go far towards protecting its incredible beauty while helping it grow. According to President Roger Wood of the Greater Pine Island Civic Association:
Our community character is plainly visible to anyone who rides around our area. The homes are unique and different; not cookie cutter tract houses. They have vivid tropical colors and contrasting trim. There are a lot of metal roofs, and many stilt homes to be hurricane resistant. We have huge preserves to hike and bike and interact with nature. We have many homes on rural sized lots. People have private ponds, and commune with nature on their own property. We have large agricultural areas, and commercial fishing operations. We have an active boating community that kayaks, sails, fishes and glories in cruising the waters surrounding us. The people have spoken to preserve and maintain the coastal rural character of The Village of Matlacha-Pine Island.