After securing over 74% of the vote (60% required to win), Florida’s Water and Land Conservation amendment has won approval. The amendment which requires no raising of taxes was supported by a coalition of organizations who believe “we owe it to our children and grandchildren to protect Florida’s water quality, natural areas, beaches and wildlife, so future generations can enjoy them”
Read below to find out what the Water and Land Conservation Amendment will do for the state of Florida.
* Ensure that our cherished beaches, rivers, lakes, springs and coastal waters are protected for future generations. Vibrant and healthy natural areas supply us with clean water and improve our quality of life. Irreplaceable treasures like the Everglades and our world-class beaches also draw millions of visitors every year and form the backbone of our tourism economy. Yet almost 2 million acres of important water protection areas, beaches, springs, and other vital natural areas remain vulnerable to unwise development decisions and deep funding cuts. Amendment 1 creates stable and long-term funding for conservation programs like Florida Forever and Everglades restoration, ensuring that we safeguard our most treasured waters and lands for future generations.
* Direct one-third of existing fees collected by the state when real estate is sold to protect natural areas and wildlife habitat and preserve our water quality for the next two decades. Amendment 1 will dedicate funding to conserve and restore Florida’s most cherished waterways and natural areas using existing state revenues generated by real estate transactions. Fees on real estate transactions, aka “doc stamps,” have been allocated to water and land conservation since 1968. Yet since 2009, these fees have been diverted to the state’s general revenues while funding for water and land conservation projects has been slashed by more than 95 percent. Amendment 1 would provide $10 billion over the twenty-year life of the measure, all without any tax increase.
* Reinforce Florida’s long-standing leadership on water and land conservation. In Florida, conserving the water quality of our lakes, rivers and springs and restoring lands necessary to protect drinking water sources historically has transcended party politics. Popular programs like Save Our Rivers, Save Our Coasts, Preservation 2000, and Florida Forever—geared towards funding important conservation projects—have been a priority of every Governor for the last four decades, including Governors Graham, Martinez, Chiles, Bush and Crist.
For more information, read the official press release from the campaign, following the election: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0QpH686Yk9iVjladkhkVWtoUDg/view