As Florida welcomes nearly 1,000 new residents each day, it’s more important than ever to protect our vital freshwater sources like wetlands and springs, maintain safe corridors of land and water for wildlife, and create new parks and preserves for people to enjoy. We can accomplish these goals by funding the suite of conservation programs, including the Florida Forever priority list, Florida Communities Trust, and the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program. Filed at the beginning of the 2023 legislative session, SB 928 by Senator Stewart and HB 559 by Rep. Cross and Rep. Roth would continue allocating funds to these programs until 2035. An alternative committee bill has been filed in the House, allocating only $100M per year for these vital conservation programs.
In 2014, 75% of Floridians voted in favor of the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) to dedicate one-third of documentary stamp revenues for water and land protection through the Land Acquisition Trust Fund. Unfortunately, despite predicted revenues of more than $1 billion this year, our legislators have never fully funded these vital conservation programs. It’s time for the legislature to fully fund Florida Forever.
Conserving what makes our state special cannot wait. Urge your legislators to speak up for full Florida Forever funding – ask them to support $300M.