By Georgia Ackerman, Riverkeeper
November 22, 2021- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has awarded about $33 million from its Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) to the State of Florida to acquire and manage approximately 32,000 acres of wetlands and floodplain habitat along 38 miles of the Apalachicola River. Counties include Calhoun, Gulf and Liberty. The Division of State Lands oversees the acquisition process. After the acquisition is finalized, it will provide protection to about one-third of the entire portion of the floodplain. Further land conservation is also anticipated as part of the state’s Florida Forever project.
Apalachicola Riverkeeper has long been active in promoting land conservation as a mechanism for protecting the Apalachicola River floodplain, Florida’s largest forested floodplain. Our work includes a collaborative effort on the proposal approved by the state’s Acquisition and Land Council in 2017, extending the upper boundary of land sought for future conservation.
The land acquisition will provide permanent protection to approximately one-third of the entire non-tidal floodplain, ensuring continued ecological benefits to Apalachicola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Decades of determination and effort have culminated to result in long-term protection for the Apalachicola River and floodplain. We thank all who’ve partnered and worked steadfastly to conserve the land that buffers and protects the Apalachicola River and Bay. Likewise, we look forward to the continued momentum to increase land conservation in the Apalachicola River basin.
More here from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
More here about the state’s Apalachicola River Florida Forever project and acquisition progress.