Florida Forever is Florida’s premier conservation and recreation lands acquisition program, a blueprint for conserving natural resources and renewing Florida’s commitment to conserve the state’s natural and cultural heritage. View Florida Forever: A StoryMap for highlights of the program.
Florida Forever replaces Preservation 2000 (P2000), the largest public land acquisition program of its kind in the United States. With approximately 10 million acresmanaged for conservation in Florida, more than 2.6 million acres were purchased under the Florida Forever and P2000 programs.
Since the inception of the Florida Forever program in July 2001, the state has purchased more than 869,477 acres of land with approximately $3.2 billion.
679,490 acres of strategic habitat conservation areas
670,880 acres of rare species habitat conservation areas including 1,132 sites that are habitats for 507 different rare species, of which 215 are federal- or state-listed as endangered, and 108 federal- or state-listed threatened
838,500 acres of ecological greenways
164,910 acres of under-represented natural communities
619,450 acres with landscape-size protection areas
486,840 acres of natural floodplains
849,550 acres important to significant water bodies
492,270 acres to minimize damage from flooding
10,400 acres of fragile coastline
341,250 acres of functional wetlands
818,860 acres of significant groundwater recharge areas
480 miles of priority recreational trails
444,400 acres of sustainable forest land
1,170 archaeological/historic sites
12,270 acres in urban service areas
Note: These acreages were derived from the most recently updated Florida Forever data layers, which are continuously amended to reflect the most current scientific analysis of Florida’s natural resources. Additionally, the acreages recorded for each measure often overlap, and thus should not be added together. Acquisition of natural resources is generally increasing each year; however, protected acreage for some natural resources may show a decline from the previous year for various reasons, including updates to natural resource GIS layers and priorities, updates to conservation land boundaries, new information about acquisition dates and purchasing programs, and changes in the protected status of lands, i.e., lands no longer managed for conservation purposes.
When Florida Forever funding is appropriated by the Legislature, it is distributed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to a number of state agencies and programs to purchase public lands in the form of parks, trails, forests, wildlife management areas and more. All of these lands are held in trust for the residents of Florida. Pursuant to 259.105(3) F.S. the funding allocation to agencies is:
Division of State Lands - 35%
Stan Mayfield Working Waterfront - 2.5%
Florida Communities Trust - 21%
Division of Recreation and Parks - 1.5%
Office of Greenways and Trails - 1.5%
Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP) - 2%
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission - 1.5%
Florida Forest Service, DACS - 1.5%
Rural & Family Lands, DACS - 3.5%
Water Management Districts - 30%
This percentage distribution has not been appropriated by the Legislature since State Fiscal Year (FY) 2010-11. Appropriations were funded by the Legislature with specific proviso language and not the percentage distribution outlined above.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.