Florida Conservation Amendment Crosses Hurdles to be on Ballot

Florida's Water and Land Legacy announced today that the Water and Land Conservation constitutional amendment has surpassed the statewide signature requirement to be placed on the November 2014 ballot. To date, 685,971 signatures from Florida voters supporting the amendment have been validated by Supervisors of Elections throughout the state. In addition, the constitutional amendment has been qualified in 15 of Florida's 27 congressional districts, clearing its final hurdles to placement on the November ballot.

"Thanks to our dedicated supporters and hardworking volunteers, we exceeded the signature requirement and had the amendment qualified in more than enough congressional districts to place this important measure on the ballot. The unifying support this campaign has received is proof that Floridians care deeply about our state's water and wildlife and want to safeguard it for future generations," said Will Abberger, the campaign's chair and director of conservation finance for The Trust for Public Land. "This means that next November, Florida voters will have the opportunity to dedicate state funding to ensure we have clean water and protect our precious natural resources."

The Water and Land Conservation amendment would dedicate funding for conservation, management, and restoration of Florida's water and land resources for 20 years. The amendment, which if approved by the voters would take effect July 1, 2015, sets aside one-third of the existing documentary stamp tax (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 habitat through the Florida Forever program.

The amendment will provide more than $10 billion for water and land conservation in Florida without any tax increase.

"Nearly one million petitions signed and delivered to local supervisors of elections sends a message loud and clear that Floridians want to see our water sources and natural areas protected. When given the chance to vote on the amendment in November, we are confident that the answer will be a resounding "Yes!" said Pegeen Hanrahan, the Legacy coalition's campaign's manager.

The Florida's Water and Land Legacy is the campaign working to qualify the amendment for the ballot and win voter approval in November 2014. Florida's Water and Land Legacy is supported by almost 4,000 dedicated volunteers and more than 340 conservation and civic organizations from across the state. Almost 1 million Floridians have already signed petitions.