Hundreds of Audubon members gathered at the 2017 Audubon Assembly to set Audubon Florida’s 2018 Conservation Action Agenda. Twelve resolutions – seven regional and five statewide – provide guidance on priority issues and conservation efforts for members, chapter leaders, board directors, staff, and the community. Audubon Florida is the only statewide conservation organization that uses an open and public process to set its policy agenda with all stakeholders invited to participate.
Regional priorities unite Audubon Florida chapters in seven regions. State priority issues integrate with National Audubon Society’s strategic plan. The 2018 Conservation Action Agenda centers on these core conservation priorities:
- Everglades Ecosystem,
- Climate Change,
- Water for the Environment,
- Coastal Conservation, and
- Important Bird Areas and Waterways.
With Priorities Set, Audubon Florida Prepares for 2018 Legislative Session
Florida’s annual legislative session begins earlier this year with committee weeks happening in Tallahassee this fall and winter, and the 60-day annual legislative session scheduled to begin in January 2018. Lawmakers will be eager to make their mark on Florida as all members in the Florida House of Representatives and half of the Florida Senate are up for reelection in their home districts.
Audubon’s priorities before the Florida Legislature include:
Land Conservation Funding
Audubon supports agency budget requests for Florida Forever and the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program that recommend strong funding for land acquisition and conservation easements. Audubon is seeking $150 million for land conservation.
With the successful passage of the Legacy Florida Act in 2016 and Senate Bill 10 in 2017, we must continue to follow through on commitments to America’s Everglades. Audubon supports the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s legislative budget request that seeks $305.8 million in Everglades funding— the largest single request ever by the agency.
Funds appropriated by the Florida Legislature can be combined with other funding sources to increase the investments to Florida’s Springs that advance projects and programs to improve water quality and increase freshwater flows. Audubon is seeking $50 million for Florida’s Springs.
Audubon is seeking $5 million for Lake Apopka Restoration. Audubon counts on its action network to influence lawmakers.
To help advance Audubon Florida’s conservation work you can: