There is no place on earth I’d rather be than among the trees, birds, beaches, and springs of Florida. I have been fortunate to see many of Florida’s most important natural gems protected in my lifetime (though as a child growing up here, I certainly wasn’t aware of it at the time). Without the foresight of conservation leaders who came before us, many of our most cherished state parks and natural areas would be paved over today.
We are so excited to publish and present the Gems Report, an educational tool for Legislators and voters that highlights both conservation successes and remaining gems. In the report, you will find some of the amazing places Florida has protected over the years. I hope you will read these pages and feel the same pride I do for our beautiful state. You will also find many examples of what can only be called “gems” – places not yet protected but that must be conserved as soon as possible.
Each remaining gem has unique qualities that, added to our conservation portfolio, would make Florida a more beautiful, sustainable, and enjoyable place to live. Each remaining gem is eligible for protection through full acquisition or easement and is currently available. But they won’t always be, and to save these remarkable places, we must act fast.
With nearly 300,000 people moving to Florida every year, we are running out of time to protect our last remaining gems. We live in a state where land protections are the first line of defense to keep our waters clean and healthy. To preserve our quality of life and safeguard our natural treasures for future generations, we must continue Florida’s conservation legacy.
Buy your book now and make a meeting with your Legislator. The 2020 legislative session starts in January and we hope that this is the year that we restore full funding to Florida Forever. With your help and your voice, we can ensure that every legislator returns to the Capitol with an urgency to save Florida’s remaining natural places.