Water: Nonpoint Source Success Stories
State Funding Programs Florida Forever Program
|The 2-year effort to enact a successor to the Preservation 2000 Program, which had acquired 1 million acres and was successful in saving many of Florida's beaches, rivers, bays, forests, coral reefs, and estuaries, culminated in the passage of the Florida Forever bill on April 30, 1999. While devoting major resources toward land acquisition, Florida Forever also recognizes and refocuses on Florida's water resource needs. The bill devotes 24 percent of funds to urban efforts, recognizing both the need for greater environmental protection and the need for more recreation space in urban areas. A significant feature is the creation of Florida's first-ever land acquisition advisory committee. This committee will clearly focus on measurable goals and invest taxpayer funds wisely to develop measurable statewide objectives for Florida Forever.
Florida Forever created a 10-year, $3 billion program. The state will receive about $300 million each year through a bond program. The funds will be apportioned among the Department of Environmental Protection (with 35 percent of the funds for acquisition programs, 1.5 percent for recreation and parks, and 1.5 percent for greenways and trails); the Water Management Districts (35 percent); the Department of Community Affairs, Florida Communities Trust (24 percent); the new Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (1.5 percent); and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Forestry (1.5 percent).
For more information on the Florida Forever program, see http://www.dep.state.fl.us/lands/acquisition/FloridaForever/default.htm.