The Tropical Florida Ecoregion includes 6,092,190 acres. Because it lies entirely within the political confines of a single state (Figure 1), it is somewhat unusual among ecoregions. The ecoregion is dominated by several large managed areas of which the most prominent are three federal holdings: Everglades National Park (1,508,537 acres), Big Cypress National Preserve (716,000 acres) and Biscayne National Park (172,924 acres). An estimated 97% of the entire southeastern coastal area of the mainland within the ecoregion is urbanized with a continuous zone of intensive development stretching from Homestead northward through the Greater Miami area to Ft. Lauderdale.

Florida has been fortunate to have had an aggressive, well-funded, public land acquisition program over the past four decades, including Preservation 2000 and Florida Forever, that provided $300 million each year from 1991 through 2004 (and will continue through 2010) for natural resource and recreation-based land conservation. Currently, Florida has more than 25% of its lands and waters in areas managed, at least partially, for conservation (i.e., managed areas).


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