Florida Water and Land Water Conservation Amendment Reaches Florida Supreme Court

CONTACT: Will Abberger 850-222-7911, ext. 23

TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign today took a major step forward in getting the Water and Land Conservation amendment on the ballot by crossing the ten percent threshold for Supreme Court review. For a state constitutional amendment seeking to gain access to the ballot by collecting signatures, legal review of the amendment by the Florida Supreme Court is triggered when ten percent of the total 683,149 signatures required—or 68,314—are collected. The campaign has collected 116, 573 signatures across Florida, far exceeding the ten percent threshold. The amendment will provide a stable, dedicated funding source for the acquisition, management, and restoration of conservation and recreation lands in Florida. The Water and Land Conservation amendment would be on the November 2014 ballot.

The Florida Department of State has verified the 68,314 signatures, sending the amendment to the Florida Supreme Court. The court will review the ballot measure to confirm that it satisfies the legal requirements for a constitutional amendment.

“This campaign to protect Florida’s environmental legacy is gaining public support across the state and we are well on our way to getting this important measure on the ballot,” said Will Abberger, the campaign’s chair and director of conservation finance for The Trust for Public Land. “This amendment will ensure state funds are dedicated to protecting the natural systems Floridians depend on for clean drinking water, unpolluted rivers, lakes and streams, and the unspoiled natural beauty that makes our state unique.”

The amendment would dedicate one-third of the existing documentary stamp tax, which is 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 through the Florida Forever Program. The amendment would provide more than $5 billion for water and land conservation in Florida over the next ten years without any tax increase.

Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign also announced that it has gained the official endorsement of 242 organizations that are adding momentum to its efforts to pass the amendment.

“We are thrilled to have such passionate supporters from throughout the state,” said Pegeen Hanrahan, the campaign’s manager. “So many diverse organizations have already committed to back this important endeavor, and we look forward to many more joining our cause.”

Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign attributes much of its success to the invaluable service of its volunteers and generous contributions of donors. If you are interested in supporting the Water and Land Conservation amendment, please visit FloridaWaterLandLegacy.org to learn more.

Endorsing organizations (in alphabetical order) include:

1000 Friends of Florida
Alachua Conservation Trust
Allen Broussard Conservancy 
Alliance of Florida Land Trusts
American Planning Association - Florida Chapter
American Rivers Southeast Region 
Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy 
Animal Rights Foundation of Florida
Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitor 
Apalachee Land Conservancy
Apalachicola Riverkeeper
Archbold Biological Station
Around the Bend Nature Tours
Audubon Florida
Alachua Audubon Society
Apalachee Audubon Society
Bay County Audubon Society
Choctawhatchee Audubon Society
Citrus County Audubon Society
Clearwater Audubon Society
Collier County Audubon Society
Duval Audubon Society
Eagle Audubon Society
Audubon Society of the Everglades
Flagler Audubon Society
Four Rivers Audubon Society
Francis M. Weston Audubon Society
Halifax River Audubon Society
Hendry-Glades Audubon Society
Hernando Audubon Society
Highlands County Audubon Society
Kissimmee Valley Audubon Society
Lake Region Audubon Society
Manatee County Audubon Society
Marion County Audubon Society
Martin County Audubon Society
Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society
Orange Audubon Society
Peace River Audubon Society
Pelican Island Audubon Society
Ridge Audubon Society
Santa Fe Audubon Society
Sarasota Audubon Society
Seminole Audubon Society
South Florida Audubon Society
Southeast Volusia Audubon Society
Southwest Florida Audubon Society
Space Coast Audubon Society
St. Johns Audubon Society
St. Lucie Audubon Society
St. Petersburg Audubon Society
Tampa Audubon Society
Tropical Audubon Society
Venice Area Audubon Society
West Pasco Audubon Society
West Volusia Audubon Society
Barrier Island Parks Society
Bay County Conservancy
Blackwater Heritage State Trail Citizen Support Organization
Breckenridge Golf and Tennis Club
Caloosahatchee River Citizens Association (Riverwatch)
Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife
Carrabelle Cares and Waterfront Partnership
Citizens for an Engaged Electorate
Citrus County Council
City of Cedar Key
Clean Water Action
Coastal Plains Institute and Land Conservancy
Collany Properties 
Committee of the Islands on Sanibel
Conservancy of Southwest Florida
Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast
Conservation Trust for Florida
Defenders of Wildlife
Democratic Club of Coral Gables Area
Democratic Club of Lake County
Democratic Club of North Broward
Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida
Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida - Southwest Florida Chapter
Democratic Women's Club of Hardee County
Democratic Women's Club of Highlands County
Democratic Women's Club of Indian River County
Democratic Women's Club of Florida 
Earth Ethics
EarthJustice Florida
East Coast Greenway Alliance 
Emerald Coastkeeper
Endangered Species Coalition
Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida (ECOSWF)
Environmental Conservation Organization
Environmental Education Council of Broward County, Florida
Estero Council of Community Leaders
Everglades Coalition
Everglades Foundation
First Florida Frontiers
Florida Clean Water Network
Florida Conservation Alliance
Florida Conservation Coalition
Florida Consumer Action Network
Florida Defenders of the Environment
Florida Disabled Outdoors Association
Florida Federation of Garden Clubs
Florida Keys Citizens Coalition
Florida Native Plant Society
Florida Native Plant Society - Citrus Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Coccoloba Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Cocoplum Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Conradina Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Coontie Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Cuplet Fern Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Dade Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Hernando Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Ixia Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Lake Beautyberry Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Lakelas Mint Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Longleaf Pine Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Lyonia Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Magnolia Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Mangrove Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Marion Big Scrub Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Nature Coast Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Palm Beach Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - PawPaw Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Paynes Prairie Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Pinellas Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Sarracenia Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Sea Oats Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Serenoa Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Sparkleberry Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Sumter Spiderwort Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Suncoast Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Sweetbay Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society - Tarflower Chapter
Florida Ornithological Society
Florida Outdoor Recreation Coalition
Florida Paddling Trails Association 
Florida Panther Society
Florida Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
Florida Society of Ethical Ecotourism
Florida State University Environmental Services Program
Florida Trail Association
Florida Trail Association - Alligator Amblers Chapter
Florida Trail Association - Apalachee Chapter
Florida Trail Association - Big Cypress Chapter
Florida Trail Association - Central Florida Chapter
Florida Trail Association - Choctawhatchee Chapter
Florida Trail Association - Fisheating Creek Chapter 
Florida Trail Association - Florida Cracker Chapter
Florida Trail Association - Halifax-St. Johns Chapter
Florida Trail Association - Happy Hoofers Chapter
Florida Trail Association - Heartland Chapter
Florida Trail Association - Indian River Chapter
Florida Trail Association - Loxahatchee Chapter
Florida Trail Association - North Florida Trail Blazers Chapter
Florida Trail Association - Panhandle Chapter
Florida Trail Association - Suncoast Chapter
Florida Trail Association - Tropical Trekkers Chapter
Florida Trail Association - Western Gate Chapter
Florida Wildlife Federation
Florida's Nature Coast Conservancy
Friends of Arthur R Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
Friends of Perdido Bay
Friends of Pinellas Master Naturalists
Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves
Friends of St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
Friends of St. Sebastian River
Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge
Friends of the Miccosukee Greenway
Friends of the Wacissa
Friends of the Wekiva River
Friends of Wakulla Springs State Park
Golden Gate Civic Association
Green Horizon Land Trust
Green Party of Florida
Gulf Coast Conservancy
Halifax Heritage Byway 
Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute
IDEAS for US (Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions)
Indian River Land Trust
Indian Riverkeeper
League of Conservation Voters
Lemon Bay Conservancy
Leon Soil and Water Conservation District
Lighthouse Bay at the Brooks
Millstone Institute for Preservation
National Wildlife Federation
Nehrling Gardens
North American Butterfly Association - Citrus County
North American Native Fishes Association
North Florida Land Trust
Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail
Paddle Florida
Pine Ridge Sanctuary/Pine Ridge Orchids
Progress Florida
Protect our Watersheds
Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida
Putnam County Environmental Council
Putnam Land Conservancy
Rails to Trails Conservancy
Rainbow River Conservation
Redlands Citizens Association
Reef Relief
River of Grass Greenway
Rookery Pointe Homeowners Association
Sanibel - Captiva Conservation Foundation
Save Our Suwannee
Save the Manatee Club
Science Eye
Shadow Wood Community Association
Shady Historic and Scenic Trails Association
Sierra Club Florida Chapter
Sierra Club - Ancient Islands Group
Sierra Club - Broward Group
Sierra Club - Calusa Group
Sierra Club - Greater Charlotte Harbor Group
Sierra Club - Loxahatchee Group
Sierra Club - Nassau County Group
Sierra Club - Northeast Group
Sierra Club - Suwannee-St. Johns
Sierra Club - Tampa Bay Group
Sierra Club - Turtle Coast Group
Silver River Keeper Foundation
Silver Springs Alliance
Snook Foundation
South Florida Wildlands Association
Southern Trailriders Association
Southwest Florida Watershed Council
Space Coast Progressive Alliance
Spring Run Golf Club
St. Andrew Bay Resource Management Association
St. Johns River Alliance
St. Johns Riverkeeper
Students Advocating Sustainability at Stetson 
Sunshine State Interfaith Power and Light
Surfrider Foundation
Suwannee Bicycle Association
Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy
Tallahassee Citizens Climate Lobby
Tampa Bay Conservancy
The Conservation Fund
The Nature Conservancy
The Villagers
Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation 
Treasured Lands Foundation
Trust for Public Land
UCF College Democrats Environmental Caucus
Urban Environment League of Greater Miami
Urban Paradise Guild
UWF Student Environmental Action Society
Wakulla Springs Alliance
Wellington Preservation Coalition
Wildlands Conservation
Wildlife Society - Florida Chapter
Wildwood Preservation Society
Women for Wise Growth
Women's History Coalition