Florida is blessed with many special places, from the iconic Everglades to one of the largest concentrations of crystalline springs in the world, from longleaf pine sand hills to scrub habitat, from salt marshes to swamps and agricultural lands, and so much more.
But these special places are under increasing threat. If existing patterns of development continue, it is projected that roughly 7 million additional acres of Florida’s lands will be converted from rural to urban uses by 2060.
1000 Friends understands that Florida needs its special places to protect both its quality of life and its economy.
Well-functioning ecosystems support not only plants and wildlife, but also the health of humans. They clean the air and water, store drinking water, provide flood control, and sustain coastlines during storms. Florida’s natural lands and waters also provide myriad opportunities for recreation for close to 20 million residents and 80 million annual visitors, and are a mainstay of the state’s economy.
1000 Friends of Florida is a recognized leader in protecting Florida’s unique and distinctive resources. We back major statewide initiatives to conserve sensitive natural lands, launched Florida’s lauded greenways program to protect an “emerald necklace” of natural areas across the state, and are a recognized leader in springs protection. We also understand that a strong natural environment is Florida’s best economic development tool.