Our hard work has paid off, Conservation Voters. Thanks to you and other advocates for natural Florida, the House and Senate have agreed to fund water and land conservation programs like Florida Forever at $100 million this year.
While $100 million is far short of historical funding levels, this amount is also a solid building block for next year as we work to make funding permanent.
This is a victory for conservation. You spoke up, and Legislators listened. At Sunday’s budget conference, Rep. Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo) said, “We are funding Florida Forever at $100M so you can stop the emails!”
In 2019, Florida Forever was funded at a measly $33 million. This year’s budget allocation is three times that, meaning we’ll have more opportunities to invest in our environment and people. Importantly, the $100 million allocation also includes funding for the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program and Florida Communities Trust – programs that conserve working landscapes and provide matching grants for local communities, respectively.
Clean air, clean water, and access to parks and natural areas are key to healthy communities and a strong economy. Thankfully, there is no other state as well equipped to provide these life-sustaining elements than Florida. With programs like Florida Forever, we conserve water and land today for the health of Floridians tomorrow.
Because of your advocacy, this year the Legislature will fund parks to play in, wildlife habitat for species protection, and wetlands for the protection of our water. We could not have achieved $100 million for Florida Forever without you!