At Weston’s wannaB inn, Commitment to the Environment and Preservation Is a Tradition Florida families have been going to Weston’s Resort for generations. Two years ago, the resort was purchased by Canadian company, Charlesway and renamed, Weston’s wannaB inn. The new owners have taken this diamond in the rough and given it a new life. Families are returning and the fishing is better than ever. Until December 1st, snook season has been opened up again in Florida, and boys and girls who grew up vacationing at the tip of Manasota Key are returning to the vacation spot of their childhoods.
The resort consists of 17 brightly painted buildings containing 80 units. The accommodations vary from efficiencies, one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom units, and all have kitchens. The property has been beautifully landscaped with native trees, grasses and shrubs.
The location at the southern end of Manasota Key, adjacent to Stump Pass State Park offers the best of bay, beach and boating. The newly constructed docks on the bay side can accommodate up to 38 boats. On any given day, it is not uncommon to see an old john boat parked next to a 24 foot center console. The boaters here have their choice of exploring the backwater and mangrove rich islands of Lemon Bay or taking Stump Pass into the Gulf of Mexico. On the Gulf side, the resort enjoys 900 feet of pristine beach, and miles of sand to walk which has become a popular nesting ground for the returning loggerhead and green sea turtles.
The fishing is great. Depending on the season, in the bay you'll catch snook, redfish, sea trout, flounder, sheepshead, mangrove snapper and jacks. In the Gulf, you'll be fishing for grouper, snapper, cobia, amberjack, sharks, mackerel, kingfish, bonita, barracuda, triple-tail, and tarpon. These rich fisheries of the Gulf and Lemon Bay are supported in large part due to the estuaries and by the environment created by mangroves. The mangrove forest promotes the health of these waters by increasing the oxygenation and acting as a filter.
Over the decades, over a third of Florida’s mangroves have been lost due to sea walls and coastal development. The wannaB inn is actually the site of an exciting research project that gives hope to the regeneration of mangroves and oyster beds by implementing a prototype for an engineered living shoreline.
This month, Keith J. Van de Riet of Florida Atlantic University’s School of Architecture and Paul Mankiewicz of the New York based Gaia Institute launched their Bio-remediative Mangrove Oyster Project (BioMop) for Lemon Bay. The pilot study which will be conducted at the wannaB inn is a collaboration of architects, biologists, ecologists and engineers to construct a model in which a mangrove can be grown in areas where they have been lost. The project will measure the impact on water quality before and after its interaction with the mangrove – oyster system.
The project will install artificial structures that encourage mangroves and oysters to establish themselves along sea walls. The sea wall creates a deep water habitat that inhibits the growth of the mangroves, but with the structures designed for this project, the growth is possible. The seed money for this research project has come from a $30,000 50/50 grant from the Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation and from Charlesway Corporation LTC, the parent company of Weston’s wannaB inn.
The wannaB inn is one of Florida’s purest fishing resorts, and they are committed to keeping it that way.