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.
Florida Forever replaces Preservation 2000 (P2000), the largest public land acquisition program of its kind in the United States. With approximately 10 million acres managed for conservation in Florida, more than 2.5 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 770,279 acres of land with a little over $3 billion. (as of 12/31/2017)
628,860 acres of strategic habitat conservation areas
595,270 acres of rare species habitat conservation areas, including 1,004 sites that are habitats for 335 different rare species, 138 of which are federal or state-listed as endangered, 63 federal or state-listed threatened, and 7 species of special concern
748,490 acres of ecological greenways
130,730 acres of under-represented natural communities
515,960 acres landscape-sized protection areas
414,770 acres of natural floodplains
760,610 acres important to significant water bodies
419,180 acres minimize damage from flooding
9,490 acres of fragile coastline
304,890 acres of functional wetlands
735,640 acres of significant groundwater recharge areas
535 miles of priority recreational trails
393,440 acres of sustainable forest land
1,070 archeological/historic sites
11,920 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.
Florida Forever Funding Distribution
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 breakdown 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 used since FY 2010-11. The Legislature did not appropriate funds in FY 2011-12, FY 2013-14, or FY 2017-18. The other FY appropriations were funded by the Legislature with specific proviso language and not the percentage distribution.
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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.