Florida: Large fund voted for “Wildlife Corridor” – Courier of the Americas

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The Florida Legislature unanimously voted in August to fund the Florida Wild Corridor: the Wildlife Conservation Corridor. If certain positions of Governor DeSantis (especially on masks) divide opinions, his impact on the environment is regularly praised. He therefore underlined the event: ” I thank the legislator for supporting this symbolic law, which will save our natural ecosystems and allow us to work on our landscape to protect our unique and diverse wildlife, while preserving the green space for future generations.

Map of the Florida Wildlife Corridor

$ 400 million will be invested this year: a quarter will go to the conservation program and three quarters to buy new land.

In the face of Florida’s population growth (22 million, or + 15% in 10 years) and the constant erosion of natural areas, it was necessary to act and stop fragmentation. The purpose of this corridor is to consolidate the existing natural areas (8 million acres (3.2 million hectares)) and interconnect them in order to strengthen the natural corridor leading from the Everglades (south) to North Florida. The aim is to facilitate the reproduction, expansion and / or migration of natural species, especially those at risk of extinction. Urban planning, tourism and agriculture will thus have to coexist more with wildlife.

In addition, large volumes of fresh water pass through this corridor and it is important to be able to reduce nitrate discharges from local farms, as devastating algae, such as red tides and ebbs, decimate in summer as the water reaches estuaries and decimates. fish in the Gulf of Mexico.

Panther in South Florida
Panther in South Florida (photographic credit: Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge)

In addition to the richness of Florida fauna, its most famous symbol is the Florida Panther. It is the only species of bomb that is still present in the eastern United States, and only about twenty individuals remained in the 1970s. Then a desperate land use planning program was created and its success is very real, as there are now more than 200 panthers in Florida. However, it is very difficult to increase their number further, because the more panthers there are, the more new territories they have to acquire. And then it ends up in areas where the roads are not fenced. Thus, even with 200 individuals, the panther is still a species in serious danger.

$ 400 million will not be enough to complete the corridor: it will require a lot, a lot, a lot more money in the coming years. It will be counted in the next tens of billions… of which the first dollar has not yet voted. However, it was necessary to launch a far-reaching policy, and that is why we must consider it good news.

August 16 Mallory Lykes Dimmitt has been appointed CEO of the organization.

www.floridawildlifecorridor.org


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