Protection of our precious natural resources, water sources, and wildlife is a joint mission among many Florida based groups. Organizations exist and have come together to make real policy changes, raise funds, and drive awareness of important conservation issues in our state. Today, we'll highlight a few of these groups, and members, so that you might connect to learn more about what they're doing. You can also find valuable channels to offer your support or contribute to the efforts.
Florida Conservation Coalition
This organization is dedicated to conserving Florida's water, fish, and land wildlife. The mission is to improve both the resources available to area residents, but also to securing long-term preservation of natural resources. The coalition is made up of various conservancy member groups, including the following:
- Trust for Public Land
- 1000 Friends of Florida
- North Florida Land Trust
- Defenders of Wildlife
- Sierra Club
- St. Johns Riverkeeper
- League of Women Voters
- Florida Wildlife Federation
- Conservancy of Southwest Florida
St. Johns Riverkeeper
Join the ranks in protecting the St. Johns River by assisting this privately-funded, 501(c)3 organization. Committing their time and resources to the health of the St. Johns River Watershed is their priority.
This group is also a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, one of the world's fastest-growing movements. Organizations are banding together everywhere, to preserve area rivers, streams, watersheds, and coastal waterways.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Directed by the Governor, the Florida EPA is charged with overseeing regulations and preservation of Florida's natural environment. Programs and task forces exist to address specific features of Florida's wildlife, habitat, and natural parks. An example includes the Ecosystem Restoration programs designed to improve water quality overall, in the springs, the Everglades, and coastal venues.
Conservancy of Southwest Florida
This group was initially founded in 1964 by a small group of concerned citizens. Today, it has grown to be one of the largest environmental organizations in Florida.
Their mission is to inform citizens and leaders, to make health and sustainability of our natural habitats and resources a priority. Teams within this group specialize in Science and Research, Policy, Environmental Education, and Wildlife Rehabilitation. They are true advocates for our great state and it's incredible natural beauty.
Florida Coastal & Ocean Coalition
This coalition is comprised of several organizations that have combined their resources to make significant improvements and restorations to Florida's coastal and marine life. This collaborative team assembles to enact local legislature and promotes the connection of coastal health, to the economy. In addition to restoring marine life, this group looks to protect the beaches, coral reefs, mangroves, and wetlands. Member groups include:
- The Conservancy of Southwest Florida
- 1000 Friends of Florida
- Surfrider Foundation
- Sea Turtle Conservancy
Captains for Clean Water
This group is a 501(c)3 nonprofit team that looks to protect the St. Lucie River Estuaries.
Their mission is combining resources and efforts to restore the natural flow of water from Lake Okeechobee into the Everglades. It had been originally founded by a group of Fort Myers fishing guides, looking to make a difference in Florida's poor water management. Captains for Clean Water has since grown in membership and strives to educate the public on its mission to preserve the largest drinking water source in South Florida, the Biscayne Aquifer.
There are a variety of opportunities to lend your support or to volunteer for a water conservation cause in your area. The first step in taking action is often education of the issues at hand. See what concerns face our waters and find ways to support the efforts of the collectives. Together we can strive for continuous improvement and preservation of our precious, Florida resources.
Your Next Step
What can you do to promote the conservation and protection of Florida waters? Start by supporting the organizations listed above in any way you can. You can also find ways to volunteer to help clean up some of the wetlands and preserves across the state.
What have you done to help protect Florida’s waters?