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Gulf of Mexico Forest to Sea


This Conservation Fund project is on large-scale private forest lands in the Gulf of Mexico. Building on decades of efforts to conserve lands along the Suwannee River and Florida’s Big Bend coast, The Conservation Fund is working with partners to protect more than 13,300 acres adjacent to the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge. The project provides vital freshwater flows to the nearby Suwannee River estuary and the Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve, located just offshore. This is the second largest aquatic preserve in the U.S and a critical nursery and feeding ground for the entire Gulf.

This working forest conservation easement will allow for sustainable timber harvesting and maintain local jobs, while conserving and restoring natural habitat. The project improves habitat for numerous species, including Gulf sturgeon, alligator snapping turtle, Florida black bear, swallow‚Äźtailed kite, and a multitude of other fish and bird species. It is a critical linkage of the Florida Ecological Greenways Network that will create a contiguous protected area along Florida’s Big Bend totaling more than 196,000 acres. The project began in 2017 through 2023.

Gulf of Mexico Forest to Sea

Partners

Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Florida Forest Service  
The Lyme Timber Company, LP
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Nature Coast Biological Station/University of Florida  
Suwannee River Water Management District 
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission 
Audubon Florida
Florida Wildlife Federation
Friends of the Lower Suwannee & Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge
College of Central Florida
Florida Forestry Association