Water and Land Conservation

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.

wp paarz / Flickr

Arguing that time “is of the essence,” environmental groups Wednesday requested that a judge lift a stay of a ruling that found state lawmakers did not properly carry out a 2014 constitutional amendment that requires spending on land and water conservation.

Alachua County Environmental Conservation

An appeals court this week turned down a request by environmental groups to quickly move a major conservation-funding case to the Florida Supreme Court.

Attorneys for the state House and Senate last month appealed a Leon County circuit judge’s ruling that said lawmakers did not properly carry out a 2014 constitutional amendment that requires spending on land and water conservation.

Florida lawmakers have tentatively agreed to pull funding from the state's top land conservation programs.

Land, Water Funding Differences Move To Budget Chiefs

Jun 10, 2015
Robin Sussingham / WUSF

House and Senate negotiators have been unable to bridge key differences in their competing proposals to fund the environmental portions of the state budget.

Now, decisions about how to spread an increased pool of money, which is expected to be used for buying and protecting environmental lands and helping restore the state's natural springs and the Everglades, will be up to the House and Senate budget chairmen starting Wednesday.