Florida’s gems are worth protecting.
The Florida Conservation Gems Report highlights some of the incredible ecological gems in the state and why it’s critical to invest in their conservation.
The report showcases 30 properties; 15 success stories and 15 highly-ranked places that still need protection. The areas include springs and swamps, blueways and wildlife corridors, state parks and preserves, archaeological sites and local parks, and dynamic forests and cattle ranches. The report also provides a brief five-decade history of conservation and illustrates why continued funding of water and land conservation is not only critical but is overwhelmingly supported by the public.
The Gems Report celebrates the diversity of conservation needed to protect water resources, wildlife habitat, working agricultural areas, and biodiversity. These areas help to stabilize the climate, preserve our rich human history, and provide access to trails, fishing, and other recreational opportunities. Without full and stable conservation funding, many existing gems will be lost. Through the Gems Report and related advocacy, FCVEF educates partners, supporters, lawmakers about our rich conservation history, its strong public support, and the economic benefits of investing in conservation.
FCVEF hand delivered a Gems Report to all 160 lawmakers during the 2020 legislative session and mailed copies to conservation voters around the state and nation. The report is a successful lobbying tool that allows elected officials to see the beauty of our conservation gems and understand their role in their protection. With support from thousands of conservation voters, FCVEF advocated for full funding of our state conservation programs, including Florida Forever, Florida Communities, and the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program. Despite significant budget cuts, the suite of Florida Forever conservation programs was funded at $100 million. FCV will continue to build on this success and advocate for increased and consistent funding to ensure that all of our conservation gems are protected for future generations.