Did you know that this landmark law plays a crucial role in your everyday life?
One year ago, Gov. Ron DeSantis ceremonially signed into law the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act. Fueled by broad support, the enactment of the landmark bill was a significant milestone in the effort to secure Florida’s wild spaces for generations to come.
Since that day, there has been no pause in the action to protect the Corridor’s 18 million acres that are so crucial to the Sunshine State’s ecology, economy and indeed, its very existence. That’s exactly why we launched Live Wildly this year — to help keep Florida, Florida.
Today, we’ve already started to see the ripple effects of this massive undertaking, from protecting the environment, wildlife and essential watersheds to bolstering the state economy by creating jobs, sparking tourism and supporting local businesses that rely on the Corridor’s natural resources.
And the work is not done. Now more than ever, the Florida Wildlife Corridor needs your support. Ensuring its lasting success is vital not just for the state and its wildlife, but for all Floridians who benefit from the Corridor every day, including you.
Here are 10 reasons why the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act matters:
1. Re-energizing conservation statewide: The law renewed a focus on land conservation throughout the Sunshine State. Conserving land anywhere — not just the connected lands in the Corridor — is a win for all Floridians as well as the plants and animals that live here.
2. Creating an engine for economic growth: According to a recent economic impact study by McKinsey & Company, the Corridor:
- Supports at least 114,000 jobs.
- Provides $30 billion in annual value to a variety of sectors, including recreation, tourism, agriculture, ranching and farming.
- Is estimated to produce nearly $300 billion in value to the state between 2022 and 2030.
3. Protecting endangered species and improving biodiversity: Florida is home to one of the greatest concentrations of endangered species in the country; protecting their habitats helps ensure their survival and your chance to see them in the wild. In addition, the Corridor helps improve biodiversity. By linking wildlife areas, it ensures that populations of different species don’t get cut off from one another.
4. Connecting green spaces: Linking parts of the Corridor isn’t just important for wildlife, it also allows networks for hiking, biking, horseback riding, paddling and more outdoor activities that can provide you with adventures you’ll talk about for years to come.
5. Improving quality of life by lessening the impacts of climate change: Creating a healthier environment is important for all Floridians. Protecting the Corridor has a positive ripple effect on air and water quality, wildlife and, ultimately, your quality of life — the very thing that draws people to Florida in the first place.
6. Preserving important watersheds: We all need water to survive, and the Corridor plays a key role in providing the clean water that you use every day. The Corridor includes the Everglades headwaters and other crucial areas that feed springs and reservoirs, which protect much of the state’s drinking water that flows out of your tap.
7. Keeping Florida, Florida: What would Florida be without its wild space, diverse animal and plant life and unique ecosystems? The Corridor protects wide areas of your home state for current and future generations, keeping Florida the unique, wild place that you know and love.
8. Establishing a blueprint for entire country: The Corridor shows that economic growth and environmental protection can go hand in hand. Farmers, foresters and ranchers all worked together on passing the landmark law, and they all benefit, too. If Florida can do it, so can other states.
‘Did You Know?’ Florida is one of nine states that has passed wildlife corridor-related legislation. Of those nine, it is the fastest growing and has the second-highest population.
9. Raising the next generation of advocates: The Corridor’s unique environment is sparking interest in Florida’s wild side for the younger generations. Spending more time in nature is helping children and teens become interested in conserving the state’s wild spaces. Igniting such passion early on is key to protecting the Corridor for decades to come.
10. Investing in the future: The Corridor encompasses nearly 18 million acres, but only about 10 million acres are currently under conservation status. Without intervention, 900,000 acres may be lost to development by 2030. With roughly 1,000 people moving to Florida every day, preserving these unprotected areas is even more urgent — and requires your help.
Florida is already setting a global example for how nature, rare and endangered wildlife and a robust, growing economy can thrive together. What we — and you — do next will be critical both in how this program succeeds and the example we set for the entire country.
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Ready to take the first step? Whether you’re a new fan of the Corridor or have been trekking its green spaces for years, the Corridor Act Anniversary is the perfect time to share what you love about the Corridor.
- Tell us what the Corridor means to you on social
- Share ‘One Year of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act’ here
Want to learn more about the Corridor’s ins and outs? Check out ‘Your Questions About the Florida Wildlife Corridor Answered’ here!
*Photos in this piece by Adam Bass, Carlton Ward Jr., Chrissy Martinez, Daniel Bass, Dustin Angel, Jenny Adler and Justin Bright