Florida’s population is projected to grow from 21 million today to nearly 35 million by the year 2070. If development follows current trends, Florida could lose an additional five million acres of wildlife habitat, isolate existing conservation lands, and cut off the Everglades from its headwaters in Central Florida and the rest of America beyond.
Florida is one of the few states in the eastern United States with intact large wilderness areas. The state’s long tradition of conservation has led it to be the site of the nation’s first wildlife refuge, Pelican Island, and the first eastern national forest, Ocala National Forest. Over the years the state has implemented several substantial land acquisition programs to save native landscape from development.
From bubbling springs, towering pine forests, wide grassy prairies, pristine beaches and coastal marshes, Florida is home to many unique ecosystems and species. These wild places in Florida are special — not just for the wildlife habitat they provide, but for their role in meeting basic, life-sustaining needs for people. They cannot be replaced.