Land and Water Conservation
Conserving parks and nature for people and wildlife.
Conserved areas protect water, wildlife, and human health. From funding local parks to acquiring large habitats, we advocate for the conservation of natural Florida.
Conserving lands and waters protects the natural wonders in our state, improves our quality of life, and grows our economy. From our abundant springs and miles of beaches to towering pines and the vast Florida Everglades, Florida boasts unique and treasured areas. It is one of the most biodiverse states in the nation with many plant and animal species that live only in Florida.
Conservation lands are vital to Florida wildlife, many of which require large, connected habitats to safely travel and find food. They provide a buffer against flooding during storms, store and filter our water, and recharge our aquifer which provides us drinking water. Native plants produce clean air and store carbon, helping to improve our resiliency in the face of climate change. Many conservation areas are open to residents and visitors for outdoor recreation and education, supporting our physical and mental health. Our award-winning parks, forests, and preserves are a major part of Florida’s tourism industry and play a role in supporting our state’s economy.
Despite historically robust funding for the Florida Forever program for more than two decades, funding was slashed in 2008 and has remained at inadequate levels. In 2014, 75% of voters supported the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) to fund our vital conservation programs. Despite this massive support by voters, lawmakers continue to underfund or misappropriate dedicated conservation dollars. Thanks to thousands of conservation voters that made phone calls, emails, and tweets, the Florida Legislature approved $100 million in funding in 2020. In August 2020, the Great American Outdoors Act was passed, providing permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and improvements to our national parks. We need permanent and consistent funding for conservation in Florida too
Consistent and full funding of conservation programs ensures that we can protect large habitats and productive agricultural areas, as well as create new parks and preserves accessible to all Floridians. FCV advocates for funding at the local, state, and national level; it is the only way to protect our natural places. FCV calls on all Floridians to continue advocating for increased and consistent funding for Florida Forever and other conservation programs.