In a generous effort to ensure protection of Florida’s drinking water, natural areas and wildlife, to foster Floridians outdoor recreational opportunities and our nature-based economy, the Florida Wildlife Federation today announced that it has established a matching grant to encourage Floridians to contribute to Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, the Vote Yes on Amendment 1 campaign. The Florida Wildlife Federation will donate $1 to the campaign for every $2 donated between now and October 30, providing up to an additional $100,000.

“Protecting our state’s natural water and land resources is an issue too important to ignore,” said Allison DeFoor, chair of the Vote Yes on 1 campaign. “This significant contribution and matching grant will help us continue to spread the message that a ‘Yes’ vote for Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment, will restore funding and protect Florida’s one-of-a-kind rivers, lakes, springs, and bays.”

Since the campaign began, the Florida Wildlife Federation board and its members have provided over $250,000 to aid the campaign. At its Board meeting this past weekend, FWF issued a challenge match to other supporters by pledging another $100,000, for a 2/1 match that must be received by October 30. This is the Federation’s latest major contribution to Florida’s Water and Land Legacy campaign. The Federation’s generosity will further the campaign’s goal of educating Florida voters about the importance of Amendment 1.

Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment, will dedicate funding for conservation, management, and restoration of Florida’s water and land resources for 20 years. The Amendment, which will take effect July 1, 2015, after approval by Florida voters this November, sets aside one-third of the existing documentary stamp tax (paid when real estate is sold) to restore the Everglades, protect drinking water sources, and revive the state’s historic commitment to protecting natural lands and wildlife habitat.

“Passage of Amendment 1 will be a monumental step forward for the healthy future of Florida waters, our fish and wildlife and public and private lands conservation. The Amendment benefits Floridians and our youth by enhancing sustainable outdoor recreational opportunities across Florida. Amendment 1 is needed to conserve our waters, land and wildlife from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic, to aid our great springs, our rivers, lakes and bays. The Amendment will provide a host of benefits in the Keys, along our great waterways including the Everglades, Big Cypress, Suwannee, St. John’s, Green Swamp, Apalachicola, Choctahatchee, Perdido, Indian River basins and other Florida natural treasures. The Amendment will provide critical long term financing to better protect and manage our conservation and recreational lands and waters. The Amendment will foster critical wildlife habitat linkages, and restore wetlands statewide including our iconic Everglades. Amendment 1 is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Florida voters to conserve natural Florida for future generations’ wonder and enjoyment. By offering this matching grant, we hope to continue encouraging more people to donate to this exceedingly necessary cause and, with the help of Florida voters, pass Amendment 1 this election,” said Manley Fuller President Florida Wildlife Federation.

For more than 20 years, Florida dedicated funds to protect natural areas and wildlife habitat and to preserve water quality. However, in recent years that funding has been diverted to other purposes. Amendment 1 is designed to reverse that trend by creating a specific, dedicated funding source for these purposes.

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Logo courtesy Florida Wildlife Federation

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