1000 Friends of Florida

Florida Smart Growth Advocates

Across the state, local advocacy groups are dealing with the impacts of growth on a daily basis. Check below to find out more about some of these groups and their activities. Please contact Vivian Young at vyoung@1000fof.org to add new organizations or correct existing entries.

1000 Friends of Florida provides this for informational use only;
this is not an endorsement of these groups or their activities.

North Florida

Apalachicola Riverkeeper – This grassroots environmental advocacy organization is dedicated to the protection and preservation of Florida’s most endangered river and estuary–the Apalachicola–including its tributaries: the Chipola, the Brothers and the Little St. Marks.

Beaches Watch, Inc. – This group formed in 2004 in response to a proposed high rise condominium in Jacksonville Beach. It helped stop the project and led a successful petition drive to cap future development at 35 feet. It now focuses on growth issues in the northeast Florida beach communities of Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach and Ponte Vedra Beach in Duval and St. Johns counties.

Big Bend Environmental Forum – The Big Bend Environmental Forum is an alliance of organizations which have come together to conserve the region’s environmental qualities through education, advocacy, research and networking among its members. It encompasses Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor and Wakulla County in North Florida, and has begun networking with South Georgia advocates.

Citizens United for Responsible Growth (CURG) – This grassroots organization shares information on neighborhood impacts, stormwater, conservation, environmental protection, growth management, governmental fiscal responsibility, transportation, educational facilities and other issues impacting the citizens of Leon County.

Friends of Wakulla Springs State Park – A non-profit citizens support organization started in 1996, the organization dedicates itself to supporting the stewardship of natural and cultural resources through various means.

Keep it Rural — Originally coalescing in 2014 to oppose an inappropriately placed gas station and convenience store in rural Leon County, the group went on to convince the County Commission to take a holistic review and update of land use policies to better protect rural areas from inappropriate development.

Northwest Florida Environmental Conservancy – This group focuses on the biodiversity, conservation and environmental education of all of Northwest Florida (Suwannee-Perdido Rivers).

South Walton Community Council – Founded in 1995, the SWCC is an organization of residents, business owners, property owners, workers and neighborhood groups whose mission is to preserve, protect and enhance the quality of life and natural environment of South Walton County.

Central Florida

Central Florida Sierra Club – This group serves Lake, Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. The Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization. Its goal is to protect, explore and enjoy the wild places on the earth.

Halifax River Audubon – This organization monitors local growth management issues and participates in Audubon Florida’s Regional Conservation Committee.

Howard T. Odom Florida Springs Institute — The mission of the Florida Springs Institute is to provide a focal point for improving the understanding of springs ecology and to foster the development of science-based education and management actions needed to restore and protect springs throughout Florida.  The Institute also addresses land uses within springsheds and water withdrawals within the state.

Silver Springs Alliance — The Alliance addresses development within the silver springshed, and Rodman Dam removal is a top priority.

Smart Growth Coalition of North Central Florida – A grassroots organization that came together in 2001, this coalition focuses its efforts on growth issues in Lake, Levy, Alachua, Putnam, Sumter, Citrus, Gilchrist and Marion counties. For more information, contact John Dunn.

Women for Wise Growth on Facebook – Founded in 1998, Women for Wise Growth is an organization of women dedicated to preserving a quality of life in Alachua County that enhances the social and environmental fabric of the community.

Southeast Florida

Arthur R. Marshall Foundation and Florida Environmental Institution on Facebook – Established to develop, promote and deliver science-based education and public outreach programs central to restoration of the everglades ecosystem and its historic river of grass.

Guardians of Martin County – This non-partisan group of residents and voters is dedicated to supporting the integrity of the Martin County Comprehensive Growth Management Plan through increased public awareness.

Hold the Line – Formed early in 2005, Hold the Line is a grassroots coalition formed to oppose numerous proposals to expand Miami-Dade County’s urban development boundary.

Indian River Land Trust — The organization’s mission is to promote the preservation, conservation and improvement of natural resources and special places in Indian River County, Florida for the benefit of the general public and future generations.  Its Vision is to preserve environmentally important land and water resources, protect scenic waterfront areas and to provide access for public recreation and education.

Last Stand – Last Stand is a non-profit 501(c)(3) which focuses on protecting the Florida Keys’ endangered quality of life and its fragile, beautiful natural environment.

Martin County Conservation Alliance – This group works to avoid overdevelopment and its impact on Martin County schools, roads, libraries and taxes through upholding the Martin County Comprehensive Growth Management Plan

Miami River Commission – Formed by the legislature in 1998, the Miami River Commission is the watchdog, advocate and clearinghouse for the Miami River, which runs 5.5 miles from Biscayne Bay through the heart of Miami. It developed and is helping to implement the Miami River Corridor Urban Infill Plan. 

Original Save Our Beach – This organization was formed in response to a series of proposed high rise beachfront projects in the City of Deerfield Beach in Broward County. As a PAC, it campaigned for three successful referenda (in 1998, 2000, and 2002) to limit beach front development. It now focuses on natural resource protection and planning.

Smart Growth Partnership: A Southeast Florida Initiative – This group’s mission is to promote livable, sustainable, and green communities in South Florida through leadership, support, advocacy and education.

South Florida Audubon Society – This organization fosters conservation through local, regional, national and global environmental advocacy and activities throughout South Florida with an emphasis on birds and wildlife and their habitat. It serves Broward but also is involved with Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.

Tropical Audubon Society – A chapter of Audubon of Florida and the National Audubon Society, Tropical Audubon was established in 1947. It focuses on conservation, education and enjoyment of the natural world.

Southwest Florida

Citizens for Sensible Growth in Sarasota County – This is a volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization of neighbors concerned about maintaining the quality of life in Sarasota County.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida – The groups had its start in 1964 when plans were revealed to build a road through Rookery Bay. The group now focuses on protecting the quality of life, protecting the environment, and promoting smart growth in the region.

Greater Pine Island Civic Association – This group works to maintain the quality of life on Pine Island in Lee County.

Rainbow River Conservation  —  Through education, conservation, stewardship and advocacy, Rainbow River Conservation works to protect and preserve the water quality, the natural beauty, the riverbed, and the flood plains of the Rainbow River in Southwest Florida.

Responsible Growth Management Coalition – Though it focuses primarily on Lee County, this coalition also works in neighboring Charlotte, Hendry, Glades and Collier counties. It incorporated in 1988 over the siting of Florida Gulf Coast University on 760 acres of primary panther habitat. It now focuses on Lee County’s comprehensive plan and planning issues, the region’s Outstanding Florida Waterways, acquiring sensitive natural lands for the public, and environmental issues.

South Manasota/Sandpiper Key Association – The mission of the SMKA is to provide an action forum for property owners and others with vested interest in the ambiance, economy, ecology, beauty, recreation and culture of the Englewood area, as well as to foster community among residents.

Suncoast Waterkeeper, Inc. — The mission of Suncoast Waterkeeper is to protect and restore the Florida Suncoast’s waterways through enforcement, fieldwork, advocacy, and environmental education for the benefit of the communities that rely upon these precious coastal resources.  The organization also addresses coastal development issues.


Conservation Trust for FloridaIts mission is to work with landowners to save Florida’s wild and working landscapes for future generations.

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