We lose a little bit of the Old Florida every day. With rising seas and explosive development, we must act quickly to save our land and water.
Climate change threatens coastal and inland areas. As global temperatures get higher, waters warm and expand. As sea levels rise, coastal areas can flood more frequently. Rising saltwater can damage the freshwater resources. But, land protection can help protect us from climate change impacts. Coastal natural areas like mangrove forests and sand dunes help buffer our communities from flooding and storms. When protected, plants like seagrasses can store carbon and mitigate climate change impacts.
We are also losing natural Florida to development. Human infrastructure like roads break up wildlife habitat. This negatively impacts how wildlife can hunt, migrate, and raise their young. Development also reduces or eliminates lands’ ecological value, like its capacity to hold and filter water.
To make our communities more sustainable and resilient, we need to protect our most valuable natural areas first. Lawmakers can support land and water conservation by committing to 30×30 goals at the state and local level. Lawmakers must conserve our water, prevent pollution, protect wildlife, and reduce carbon emissions. The choices we make today will have a lasting legacy on our natural areas and Floridians in the future.