Caloosahatchee-Big Cypress Corridor project gets a green light

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Florida Construction News staff writer

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Cabinet have given the green light the Caloosahatchee-Big Cypress Corridor project, to safeguard about 28,000 acres of Florida’s natural lands. The area is a habitat for the Everglades and the iconic Florida panther.

“Florida continues to set the standard in land conservation and safeguarding our invaluable natural resources,” Governor Ron DeSantis said. “These measures will ensure that our natural landscapes endure for the enjoyment of Florida’s families for generations to come.”

Since 2019, the Florida Legislature has allocated over $1.25 billion to the Florida Forever Program, with $100 million designated for annual funding.

Key highlights:

  • Acquisition of 25,039 acres within the Caloosahatchee-Big Cypress Corridor, spanning Collier and Hendry counties. This move aims to connect vital habitats for species like the Florida panther, ensuring their survival.
  • Procurement of 1,361 acres as part of the Yarborough Ranch Florida Forever Project in Seminole County. This acquisition will protect the Econlockhatchee River and Geneva Freshwater Lens, crucial water sources for county residents.
  • Addition of 1,342 acres within the Lake Hatchineha Watershed Florida Forever Project in Polk County, expanding recreational opportunities and thwarting impending development threats.

Additionally, permanent agricultural land conservation easements were approved covering over 8,000 acres, preserving working agricultural lands through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Rural and Family Lands Protection Program.

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