Simple, Efficient, and Effective: How Florida Ranchlands Safeguard Our Watersheds

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Land conservation is essential for achieving watershed protection goals. It’s a simple, efficient, and effective solution that requires no pumping or infrastructure. 


Conservation Easements: Protecting Water Quality and Reducing Runoff
Conservation easements offer numerous benefits for watershed protection. Natural and agricultural lands serve as natural buffers that store and treat water, preventing pollutants from reaching major water bodies. By strategically placing conservation easements in key areas, we can improve water quality and minimize runoff, ensuring the long-term health of our ecosystems.

Retaining Rainwater: A Practical Approach
Conserving lands allows us to retain rainwater where it falls instead of letting it quickly run off into our water bodies. This simple practice promotes groundwater recharge, reduces erosion, and mitigates the risk of flooding. 

 Florida Ranchlands Hold and Filter Water
Cattle ranches are a primary and low intensity rural land use in the watersheds of southern Florida; they provide essential wildlife habitat and the best opportunities for wetland restoration and water storage. 

Combating Algae Blooms and Red Tide: Safeguarding Vital Landscapes
Any approach to addressing the algae blooms and red tide in south Florida must begin at the source, by protecting landscapes that can hold and clean water before it flows into our rivers, lakes, aquifers, and coastal estuaries.

Florida Forever and the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program are critical to the health of the landscape –  these land conservation programs  protect water quality and supply for urban areas.

Rural and Family Lands Protection Program (RFLPP)
RFLPP is an agricultural Conservation Easement Program under Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. RFLPP’s primary mission is the protection of our working lands, agricultural economy and water resources.

Florida Forever
Florida’s conservation lands program under Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FF Program purchases land as well as conservation easements). The primary goals of Florida Forever conservation easements are to: protect high priority natural resource areas and ensure our water resources are protected.

Conservation Easements:
• Store and treat water BEFORE it reaches major water bodies;
• Prevent further decreases in water quality;
• Are the most cost-effective way to preserve our water resources

We can invest a little now or a LOT later to restore our watersheds!