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Congress Allows Fund That Supports Florida Parks And Natural Areas To Expire

Tree Tops Park in Davie was created using more than $2 million from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. More than 180 natural areas in Southeast Florida have benefitted from the fund.
Michal Kranz
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Time has run out for a program that's provided funding to more than 180 natural areas in Florida.Sunday, Sept. 30 was the deadline for Congress to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Money from the fund is used to create and maintain city, county and state parks, marinas, protected forests and historic battlefields in Florida and across the country. The fund is supported by fees on offshore oil and gas drilling.


In a statement, members of the Save the Land and Water Conservation Fund -- a national coalition of more than 1,000 conservation and recreation organizations -- said they're "cautiously optimistic" Congress will reauthorize the fund eventually.But for now, no money is being put aside for the fund's parks and projects. 

In an interview last month, the president and CEO of the Florida Wildlife Federation told WLRN he and other conservation leaders want the next reauthorization to be permanent.

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Kate Stein can't quite explain what attracts her to South Florida. It's more than just the warm weather (although this Wisconsin native and Northwestern University graduate definitely appreciates the South Florida sunshine). It has a lot to do with being able to travel from the Everglades to Little Havana to Brickell without turning off 8th Street. It's also related to Stein's fantastic coworkers, whom she first got to know during a winter 2016 internship.Officially, Stein is WLRN's environment, data and transportation journalist. Privately, she uses her job as an excuse to rove around South Florida searching for stories à la Carl Hiaasen and Edna Buchanan. Regardless, Stein speaks Spanish and is always thrilled to run, explore and read.