During today’s sustainable living show we talked to Jason Lauritsen, who is the chief conservation officer for the Florida Wildlife Corridor Coalition (https://floridawildlifecorridor.org), about the Florida Wildlife corridor act being created and what it means for the State of Florida.
The Florida Wildlife Corridor runs directly from the middle of southern Florida all the way to the Florida panhandle and connects state parks, state forests, major springs, national parks and forests.
“It’s a mechanism to link critical habitats for wildlife and water,” says Lauritsen.
Basically, the Florida Wildlife Corridor is the spine for the entire state of Florida and provides critically endangered species a safe environment to call home. Throughout the last few decades, the Florida Wildlife Corridor has been decimated by surrounding development. That’s why Lauritsen is acting now to get this last piece of untouched land and the beautiful creatures that live there protected from future development and unnecessary projects.
“Our mission is to champion an effort to protect, connect, and enhance that 18 million-acre landscape throughout the state. We work with agencies at all levels, non-profit and geo partners, private landowners and the general public to align messages to leverage efforts to get conservation done,” says Lauritsen about the Florida Wildlife Coalition mission.
Lauritsen emphasized that the Florida Wildlife Corridor Coalition cannot accomplish its goals alone and needs help and support from the public. Without it, the corridor will be put at further risk.
Although Tampa does not have an overlapping footprint with the Florida Wildlife Corridor, it still plays a crucial role in keeping the corridor functioning properly. Later in the show Lauritsen talks about the role Tampa, specifically the Hillsborough River, plays in keeping the Florida Wildlife Corridor safe and clean.
“It’s downstream of a really critical area in the green swamp. That green swamp is the headwaters for the Hillsborough River and the water resources that we enjoy. The water quality coming down the Hillsborough River and the water quality in Tampa Bay are all affected by what happens upstream,” says Lauritsen.