Everglades to Gulf Conservation Area (2020-2024)

The Florida Conservation Group, together with the University of Florida Center for Landscape Conservation Planning and the National Wildlife Refuge Association, has partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) USFWS to provide the science foundation to establish the Everglades to Gulf Conservation Area in southwest Florida. This new conservation area will allow the USFWS to work with willing landowners to protect the lands that are most important to the state’s water and wildlife in one of the most biologically diverse regions in the United States. The Conservation Area encompasses a 4-million-acre region spanning 12 counties west of Lake Okeechobee from Lakeland to Naples. The Everglades to Gulf Conservation area is home to over 70 federally or state-listed threatened and endangered species and iconic species like the Florida panther, Florida scrub jay, Audubon’s crested caracara, Everglade snail kite, and sand skink. The proposal was developed with extensive public comments, and FCG worked with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to lead the extensive stakeholder and outreach efforts on the ground. We would like to thank Defenders of Wildlife for lending their support to our outreach efforts.