Land Acquisition for Conservation is Vital
AWE is a Leading Partner
Why Do We Need to Acquire More Land in Southwest Florida?
People move to FL every day
Listed Wildlife species in SW FL Source: SW FL Regional Planning Council
Acres wetlands lost in SW FL since 2004 Source: NOAA
AWE Advocates for Key Public Land Acquisitions
© Florida Wildlife Federation
The State of Florida has purchased more than 2.5 million acres for conservation and recreational purposes, under Florida Forever and its precursors. Because the State Legislature allocated little or no money to Florida Forever in recent years, 75% of Floridians approved a constitutional amendment in 2014 to keep Florida Forever funded. AWE campaigned aggressively in favor of Amendment 1.
AWE, along with its Corkscrew watershed partners Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and CREW Land & Water Trust, successfully applied to the State to add 2,800 acres to the 70,000-acre Corkscrew Watershed Florida Forever boundaries in 2016.
© Collier County
Collier County voters first approved a conservation land acquisition referendum in 2002 and then again by an overwhelming 82% in 2006. The County has purchased over 4,000 acres at fair market value. AWE drafted the first referendum and campaigned heavily for the second. AWE is planning for the next referendum in 2020.
© Lee County
Over 29,000 acres protected since 1996. A 2016 “Yes on 20/20” campaign by AWE and allies achieved 84% voter approval. Now, AWE is determined to protect the integrity of conservation purchases as the County Commission considers shifting purchases to stormwater control instead of natural area preservation.