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Florida's Nature Coast

Florida's Nature Coast

Florida black bear. Photo credit: Pixabay

Florida has seen tremendous changes in the last century. In many places, the Florida that existed just 50 years ago is long gone. Lost to the bulldozer, the chainsaw and the cement mixer, much of what was wild Florida is now but dim memories. The music of nature that once filled the air with the calls of red wolves, whooping cranes and ivory-billed woodpeckers is too often silent now, replaced by the sounds of urban Florida. Yet, for all that is lost, there is great hope for the places that remain wild and free. Florida’s Nature Coast is such a place.

The Nature Coast is too important to let these challenges and threats go unanswered. GRN is working hard to protect and preserve the region.

Major projects that could shape the future of this region continue to arise and the fate of one of the most ecologically important areas left in the Gulf of Mexico hangs in the balance. Gulf Restoration Network has been working on Nature Coast issues since 2007. We are proud to work with groups like Defenders of Wildlife, Florida Defenders of the Environment, the Nature Coast Coalition, the Sierra Club and SouthWings, and advocates and artists like Eric Zamora. The work we have done together, the foundation we have laid to protect this amazing place will be tested as water withdrawals, developments, paper mills and huge new pipelines like the Sabal Trail pipeline are poised for permits or approvals over the next few years.

What is a stake if these projects are approved or continue is staggering. Florida’s Nature Coast, comprised of the coastal counties along Florida’s Gulf Coast from Pasco County to Wakulla County, is one of the longest pristine and mostly undeveloped coastal wetlands systems left anywhere in the Gulf. Over a hundred miles of seagrass beds, wetlands, coastal hammocks, and coastal marsh comprise this ecological treasure. This is ground zero in terms of protecting what is left of the Gulf Coast of Florida.

The Issues 

Water

Water is the lifeblood of the Nature Coast. From springs and spring fed rivers, to black water rivers, to the vast coastal marshes and estuaries, water is the key ingredient that makes this amazing place possible. Read more here.

Wildlife

We are blessed along the Nature Coast with a vibrant and amazing diversity of wildlife and wild places. The ecosystems teeming with biodiversity and a rich and abundant web of life makes this place a natural wonder for all of America. Read more here.

Residential Development

A number of mega-development projects are being proposed in the Nature Coast. The cookie cutter subdivisions of Tampa are marching north and unless we act now both the landscape and culture of the Nature Coast could be lost forever. Read more here

Resource Extraction

Mining and logging might not be the first things that come to mind when one thinks of Florida, but these activities are a signficant threat to the health of the Nature Coast and other parts of the state. Read more here.