Explanation of Indicator
Rapid population growth along the coast threatens natural resources by increasing development pressures in this area. Along with coastal natural resources, public access to the beach is threatened by private developments that do not provide access points. If there is no perpendicular access to the beach, residents and tourists are unable to exercise their public trust rights unless they own a boat. One way to protect public access, and therefore public trust, is to purchase land situated on the coast for public use.
In an effort to protect public lands and wildlife habitats, the state has initiated programs to acquire the most threatened areas. Land acquisition in the state of Florida has been implemented predominantly through five programs: The Conservation and Recreation Lands Program (CARL), Save Our Rivers, Save Our Coasts, Land Acquisition Trust Fund Programs, and Preservation 2000. In addition, federal programs also provide for acquisition of land in the state through direct purchases and financial help to the state. Land acquired by the state can be used to ensure that public access to the coast is protected. Thus, the acres of land purchased by the state are an important indication of coastal lands available for public use. The acres purchased also indicate to the state how much has been invested to protect coastal areas.
Information concerning state land acquisition can be obtained from Ruark Cleary, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Division of State Lands, 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard, MS 100, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000, or at (904) 488-6242.
The data on the acreage of publicly managed land can be obtained from Sally Jue, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Suite 200-C, 1018 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32303, or at (904) 224-8207.
The information on state land acquisition is currently available only in hard copy; however, DEP is developing a database to be incorporated into a public lands geographic information system. Currently, there are no costs associated with obtaining this information.
The data on the acreage of publicly managed land are available in hard copy format at no cost.
The information on state land acquisition is collected statewide and updated annually for CARL (since 1979) and Save Our Rivers (since 1982). Because the Save Our Coasts program no longer exists, data for that program are available only for the years 1982 through 1986.
The data on the acreage of publicly managed land are updated by the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) several times a year. The data are not updated on a set schedule. FNAI collects the data by contacting each county to obtain the acreage of publicly managed lands in their county. This information includes federal, state, local, and privately managed lands. FNAI does not keep a historical, annual database by county. To obtain annual acreage by county, the information must be requested each year from FNAI after their update.
The state land acquisition data have several limitations. Because these data are aggregated at the state level, the acquisition of land in each county is not available. However, aside from state totals, information on each piece of land acquired is available, though not totaled, for any region, county, or city.
The quantity and quality of the data collected by the Florida Natural Areas Inventory are dependent on the research and observations of many individuals and organizations. Generally, this information is not the result of comprehensive or site-specific field surveys. The Florida Natural Areas Inventory database represents a compilation of information extracted from published and unpublished literature, museums and herbia, field surveys, personal communication, and other sources. Furthermore, some parcels of managed lands are located in more than one county and therefore the acreage may be counted more than once (i.e., the acreage for one parcel is added into the totals for each applicable county). Thus, the total acreage for coastal counties is likely an overestimation.
The total acreage of publicly managed lands in coastal counties is approximately 22,655,531.17 acres. The following chart shows a breakdown of the acreage by coastal county.
Coastal County Acreage Coastal County Acreage Bay 105,627.10 Levy 1,160,628.02 Brevard 366,110.97 Manatee 62,999.39 Broward 736,586.20 Martin 86,673.20 Charlotte 197,982.14 Monroe 3,027,834.89 Citrus 305,689.24 Nassau 102,444.32 Collier 2,423,222.21 Okaloosa 657,287.20 Dade 3,330,100.30 Palm Beach 1,008,314.92 Dixie 1,009,472.89 Pasco 275,531.26 Duval 179,793.41 Pinellas 352,166.53 Escambia 142,629.12 Santa Rosa 753,924.98 Flagler 15,918.60 Sarasota 77,321.01 Franklin 850,734.90 St. Johns 59,927.67 Gulf 163,057.70 St. Lucie 50,998.08 Hernando 207,379.28 Taylor 1,079,916.07 Hillsborough 48,592.24 Volusia 374,223.69 Indian River 115,452.81 Wakulla 1,595,177.41 Jefferson 1,035,115.97 Walton 537,272.19 Lee 159,425.26 TOTAL 22,655,531.17Recommendations