North Florida Land Trust has compiled this map using our strategic conservation priority tool, known as the North Florida Conservation Priorities. We created or used sea level rise and population growth models to see which areas are going to be the most heavily threatened, or the most resilient to change. The high priority areas for preservation are seen in red. The lower priorities are in blue. Our focus regions are referred to as our “Preservation Priority Areas.”
With this information we created our Preservation Portfolio. In this portfolio, North Florida Land Trust has identified 112,346 acres of land in our seven county focus that is in critical need of preservation. It includes at least one area of land in need of preservation in Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns Counties. The benefit of preserving these lands far outweighs the cost of acquisition. The price to acquire the land is $216,516,934, but the ecosystem services value is $413,430,739 annually.
Ecosystem services are defined as services provided by the natural environment that we would otherwise pay for; in short, it is what nature provides us for free.
Preserving the land reduces or eliminates the need for storm water drainage or sewage treatment facilities, prevents or reduces flooding, provides fisheries and even provides areas for wildlife viewing. Wildlife viewing is a $4.9 billion a year industry in Florida.
(Click HERE to review a pdf of our preservation portfolio.)