“Wouldn’t it be nice to have one island in Sarasota Bay without a building?”
That was Rusty Chinnis’ rallying cry when he gathered like-minded people to gather the money and ultimately raised $50,000 to buy the islands just east of Longboat Key. The asking price was $1.5 million.
That’s when Chinnis made a pitch to the town. Because Longboat Key had recently drafted a comprehensive plan and needed more open space, it seemed like a good idea. The deal — using the money Chinnis and his friends raised and funding from the town — was finalized in 1992.
Learn more from this YourObserver.com feature: Sister Keys a Longboat treasure, resident says (July 25, 2018)
Here are some of the faces (and the smiles) that made saving Sister Keys a reality.