I hope that you and your family have weathered Hurricane Irma’s destructive visit to Florida well. This storm has touched our state in a way that will not soon be forgotten. My heart is with all of you who are still trying to recover.
I thought I’d share some good news with you as we all try to march on from last week: Lee County has agreed to protect 3,922 acres of environmentally sensitive land called Edison Farms. In an interview with the News Press regarding the purchase, Rob Moher of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, an FCC Member Group, noted that had this land been developed, the flooding experienced in the region after Irma would have been significantly worse. This is one reason we conserve land – because we do not want to suffer increasing losses from flooding. Protected land can store and filter stormwater before it gets to our rivers, lakes, and homes. Flood mitigation is just one of several reasons why it is critical we restore land conservation funding.
There are properties like Edison Farms all over the state that need to be protected, but without state funding many of these lands may be lost to development. That’s one of many reasons why it’s so important that the Legislature pass legislation during the 2018 session that annually dedicates the largest share of funds in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund (Amendment One dollars) to Florida’s land conservation programs. For more information on why we conserve land and what our land conservation campaign is trying to accomplish this session, check out the FCC’s Talking Points on land conservation.
Together, we can save Florida’s special places. But it will only happen if everyone does their part. If you are able, click here to see some of the ways you can assist in our fight! Legislators are holding meetings all over the state – with some County’s meetings scheduled as early as this week and other County’s meetings as late as November – and they need to hear from you. Just respond to this message if you’d like to speak up for land conservation at your County’s meeting, and I’ll send you everything you need to know.
Thank you for making time for Florida’s special lands, waters, and wildlife. And if you are experiencing hardship after Hurricane Irma, please know my thoughts and those of the Florida Conservation Coalition are with you.