We all know that each year, Florida’s residents and millions of tourists benefit from resources and recreation on our public conservation lands. And it’s our diverse landscape and wildlife that help to make Florida such a wonderful place to live and a top destination.
For years, the Florida Forever program has set aside money so the state can purchase lands to help protect sensitive areas and wildlife habitat. Rightly so, as our public lands are essential for healthy wildlife population, besides being fundamental to the state’s economy.
Our beaches, forests, rivers, streams and parks all help to make Florida the beautiful state that it is, and we need to make sure that they are around for generations to come.
The Florida legislature has convened a conference committee of House and Senate members who are negotiating our state budget. But the crucial programs needed for protecting and restoring wildlife habitat are not included in yet!
The funding we’re asking for would be $15 million for Florida Forever, the state land acquisition program and $40 million for Everglades restoration. The legislators should at least meet Governor Scott’s budget recommendation!
Funding to continue efforts to protect a connected state wildlife habitat network through Florida Forever and for the restoration of the Everglades is hugely important.
And studies show that for every $1 invested in restoration, $4 will be generated. This funding is important to lands protections as well as habitat for countless animals that rely on the Everglades like panthers, manatees and eagles.
Besides the wildlife that rely on the Everglades, 7 million residents of the Sunshine State rely on the Everglades for their drinking water. Without adequate funding to maintain and protect the region, our drinking water and natural heritage could be in dire trouble.
Be a voice for Florida panthers, bears, manatees, wood storks, eagles and other wildlife. Send a message to the Florida legislature now and urge them to maintain funding for wildlife and lands protections.
Since tourism is responsible for a whopping 20% of our state’s economy – and 1 million jobs – we need to make sure that our beaches, waterways and parks are properly maintained and protected. Without proper funding, tourism could be in trouble and so could our wildlife.
For the wild ones,
Florida Program Director
Defenders of Wildlife