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Published on: News

Florida Forever Conserves Land and Water

Florida Forever is the state’s premier land protection and recreation program. The program and its predecessors have helped save more than 2.5 million acres of forests, wetlands, parks and other natural areas, making Florida a more resilient and beautiful state.

In 2014, Florida voters changed the constitution to dedicate a portion of documentary stamp revenues for water and land conservation, directing those funds to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund (LATF). From there, it is distributed to state agencies and programs.

CONSERVATION VALUES:

  1. Protect water resources for consumption and recreation.
  2. Protect against sea level rise, flooding and other harmful climate change impacts.3.
  3. Maintain plant and wildlife diversity for the productivity and sustainability of natural systems.
  4. Restore the Greater Everglades Ecosystem.
  5. Provide shelter, food sources, and migratory space to Florida’s native wildlife.
  6. Maintain working agricultural landscapes to preserve their ecological values.
  7. Increase recreational opportunities like hiking, fishing, and picnicking for Florida families.
  8. Connect tracts of undeveloped conservation lands for wildlife habitat and efficient management.

When we protect land, we protect water. Some of Florida’s most valuable wetlands and drinking water recharge areas are unprotected and threatened by development. To ensure tomorrow’s water resources are clean and plentiful, we must conserve wetlands and the lands surrounding our springs, lakes, and rivers today.

Conserved land also benefits our mental and physical health by providing parks, trails, and other recreational opportunities. Clean air, clean water, and access to parks and natural areas are all essential for a healthy quality of life.
Natural areas bring economic benefits. Proximity to parks and conservation areas improves home values. Nature-based tourism also provides economic opportunities to local communities. Natural infrastructure like living shorelines and dunes provide low or no cost natural buffers from storm and hurricane impacts, protecting both people and property.

Known worldwide for our wildlife, Florida is home to many unique plants and animals. Many species, like Florida panther, gopher tortoise, and other threatened animals, depend on large natural landscapes to survive. With public-private partnerships, we can protect our land and our waters for people and wildlife.

By 2040, Florida will be home to more than 26 million residents. The threat of losing our remaining natural treasures and further spoiling our waters is on the rise due to our population growth. People choose to live here because of Florida’s natural beauty, and with more people moving here every day, we must strike the balance between conservation and construction by investing in programs like Florida Forever.

To achieve our goals of securing and safeguarding water resources, providing accessible recreation opportunities for Floridians and visitors, and conserving our unique wildlife, we must fully fund Florida Forever. With a recurring allocation of $300 million, we can protect Florida’s most precious resources: our waters and natural lands.

9.(HISTORIC icon) Preserve historic sites for their educational and cultural value.

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