Peace River Valley

Protecting the Peace River Valley

Project Summary

Florida Conservation Group is focused on protecting a network of conservation lands in the Peace River Valley. This region supplies drinking water for Southwest Florida and is crucial to the health of the Charlotte Harbor Estuary, an Estuary of National Significance. The headwaters to Charlotte Harbor begin upstream; protecting the tributaries to the Peace River and Charlotte Harbor is critical to the health of our water downstream. The protection of ranchlands and other agricultural lands directly impacts the health of Charlotte Harbor, one of the most important recreational fisheries in the state and an economic engine for southwest Florida. We are primarily on working on land protection in Hardee, DeSoto, and portions of Polk and Charlotte Counties. To date, Florida Conservation Group has partnered with landowners and agencies to protect over 37,000 acres in this agriculturally and ecologically significant region.


Land Conservation Partners

  • Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Rural and Family Lands Protection Program
  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection Florida Forever Program
  • Natural Resource Conservation Service: Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (Agricultural Land Easements and Wetland Reserve Easements)
  • Southwest Florida Water Management District
horse creek, tributary to the peace river

Protecting Water and Wetlands

  • Protecting wetlands and floodplains in the Peace River Watershed is crucial to a healthy Charlotte Harbor Estuary and Gulf of Mexico.
  • The Peace River provides drinking water to over a million people in southwest Florida.
  • Land protection in the Peace River Valley:
    • is critical for storing flood waters that would impact downstream communities and the Charlotte Harbor Region.
    • is essential for maintaining the water quality and hydrological flows into Charlotte Harbor.
    • is critical for the water quality and supply for the Peace River-Manasota Water Supply Authority, a multi-county public water supply, which supplies drinking water in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties.