Today Audubon is celebrating the approval by the Governor and Cabinet of several conservation land acquisitions and easements under the Florida Forever Program:
- 135 acres in the Rainbow River Corridor Florida Forever Project (Citrus Co.), protecting the world-class Rainbow Springs and the crystal-clear river they give rise to.
- 287 acres in the Osceola Pine Savannahs Florida Forever Project (Osceola Co.), creating a corridor between Bull Creek, Three Lakes and Triple N Ranch Wildlife Management Areas.
- 2, 259 acres in the Triple Diamond Florida Forever Project (Okeechobee Co.), protecting the headwaters of the Everglades.
- 8.68 acres in the Charlotte Harbor Estuary Florida Forever Project (Charlotte Co.), expanding recreational access for Don Pedro Island State Park.
- 565 acres in the Tiger Island-Little Tiger Island Florida Forever Project (Nassau Co.), conserving some of Northeast Florida’s best remaining coastal habitat.
Even better: These acquisitions mark the completion of TWO Florida Forever Projects: Tiger Island and Triple Diamond.
Florida Forever is the State of Florida’s iconic land conservation program that identifies resources of state significance for protection based on scientific criteria and with a transparent process accountable to taxpayers, local communities and landowners alike. Prioritizing properties based on values important to Florida’s economy and ecology—like protecting water resources, habitat connectivity, recreational opportunity, resilience and more—the Department of Environmental Protection delineates large landscape-scale project areas to protect these assets and works over many years to acquire the parcels within each project boundary, piece by piece from willing sellers.
“Kudos to DEP’s Division of State Lands team for these milestones, to the landowners who worked with the state to forever protect these critical pieces of our natural heritage, and to the Governor and Cabinet for their vision for Florida’s future,” said Julie Wraithmell, Audubon Florida Executive Director. “Our environment is key to the prosperity and quality of life of all Floridians,” she concluded.
Florida Forever’s process is protecting Florida’s most special places at fair prices and with the transparency and accountability Floridians deserve. These acquisitions are an investment in our future.