In November, Florida voters will have an historic opportunity to leave a legacy of clean water and protected lands to future generations. Passage of Amendment 1 would provide at least $10 billion over 20 years to restore the Everglades, protect drinking water and the water quality in bays, rivers, lakes, and streams, and conserve natural lands and wildlife habitat through the Florida Forever program.
With no increase in taxes, the measure revives and constitutionally guarantees the state’s traditional source of funding for land and water conservation, a percentage of the fees on real estate transactions, known as “doc stamps.” For two decades, Florida dedicated $300 million a year from this source to land and water conservation, protecting 2.4 million acres of watershed lands, wildlife habitat, springs, beaches, forests, agricultural lands, community parks, and trails. Yet since 2009, these fees have been diverted to the state’s general revenues while Florida Forever funding has been slashed by 97.5 percent. Almost two million acres of vital natural areas remain vulnerable to unwise development.
Voter approval of Amendment 1 will would provide a long-term sustainable source of funds to acquire, manage, and restore lands essential to protecting the state’s drinking water, its quality of life, and unique natural assets such as Everglades that form the backbone of its tourism economy. Find out more at voteyeson1fl.org.
Photo by Jason Flom.