Florida, a sensitive and dynamic peninsula, unique in its habitat, wildlife and hydrology in the world, is the third most populous state in the nation. From the outcome of the election, it apparently has a majority of very wise people who hope to allow the next generation by providing clean water and protection to natural lands and wildlife. With a population that has doubled in 10 years to 20 million and predicted to be 30 million in the next 35 years, the overwhelming approval to keep Florida wild was an amazing historical decision made last week by more than 75 percent of the voters. Thank you Florida voters!
Thanks to the affirmative vote of the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment 1, Florida will dedicate funds to ensure wildlife has a place from the panhandle to the Keys to live, travel and thrive. It is also a meaningful message from the people of Florida that they value clean water, a healthy life and wildlife. Thank you Florida voters!
This $20 billion approval is the largest land conservation project ever in a single state. It is the legislative mechanism that will help repair the lack of funding in past years for land conservation and fill the gaps of the Florida Wildlife Corridor project — a project that will allow conservation of Florida’s lands and waters for wildlife preservation and diversity.
Without raising any taxes, monies from thestate’s real estate transactions (“doc stamps”) will be directed for conservation. Since the 1960s, these “doc stamps” were historically allocated for land and water preservation, but since 2009, the monies have gone to the state’s general revenues while funds for conservation projects were slashed to almost 95 percent. With Amendment 1’s approval, an approval that crosses political party lines, Florida is back on track, directing one-third of the doc stamp funds, or $1 billion per year for 20 years, to protect the most precious assets of this state — its land, water and, of course, our children. Thank you Florida voters!
There are many projects that will benefit from this funding, but one that encompasses the entire state is the Florida Wildlife Corridor. Its area is 15.8 million acres (9.5 million acres already protected; 6.3 million acres that need protective status) of diverse habitats meandering down the length of Florida’s peninsula that are and will be protected, restored and connected. With the priority of protecting sensitive wetlands, groundwater and surface waters, and wildlife, such as some of Florida’s 548 threatened and endangered species, will benefit and in turn enhance all Floridians’ lives for generations to come.
Thank you Florida voters!
For more information on the Florida Wildlife Corridor Project, please go to www.floridawildlifecorridor.org. For more information on Florida and/or Marco Island’s environment, please contact Nancy J. Richie, environmental specialist with the city of Marco Island at 239-389-5003 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org