Land acquisition is the most effective approach to protecting ecologically significant areas. Under District ownership, land can be preserved and protected. Statutory mandates require that the District’s management of such lands ensures a balance between public access, general public recreational purposes, and restoration and protection of their natural state and condition.
To preserve and protect the natural features of the Green Swamp, the District and other agencies are in the process of restoring lands and waterways that have been negatively impacted by past uses. This includes restoring uplands converted to pastureland, restoring wetlands that were once drained and re-establishing plant and animal communities on other lands affected by physical changes to the environment.
At one time, Florida’s wetlands were all but given away to promote development in wetlands. Today, with a tremendous increase in population and a booming building industry, regulatory agencies still receive pressure to allow construction and development in wetlands. The continued development of land within wetlands, or close to wetlands, calls for an ever-present vigilance on behalf of government agencies to protect these environmentally sensitive habitats. Only with their protection can the Green Swamp’s many natural resources be ensured for years to come.