Ecosystems

The Nature Coast Ecosystems Project

Healthy coastal ecosystems are vital for maintaining the water quality of our rivers, marshes, and the Gulf of Mexico. These Natural ecosystems provide habitat to plants and animals as well asĀ offer opportunities for recreation.

The Nature Coast Ecosystems Project aims to ensure the protection of land at the ecosystem scale through collaborations with area partners such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge and Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida State Parks, mitigation banks, the Suwannee River Water Management District, and the Florida Forestry Service.

Land protection priorities include properties that:

  • Are adjacent to already protected lands
  • Include high ground (provides a buffer against sea level rise)
  • Are high in natural resource quality (biodiversity, shoreline to high-ground gradient for inland wildlife retreat)
  • Provide opportunities for education and recreation
  • Preserve heritage and support the economic viability of the Nature Coast