Audubon Florida News

Press Release: Conservation Groups Join Forces to Support Public Lands

posted on September 27, 2012 in Press Releases

Contact:    Lisa Rinaman, St. Johns Riverkeeper, 904-509-3260, lisa@stjohnsriverkeeper.org

For Immediate Release.

Community urged to get involved to protect conservation lands.

Jacksonville, FL — Saturday, September 29th is National Public Lands Day, the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States.

A coalition of Northeast Florida’s leading conservation organizations are using this occasion to raise awareness about the importance of our publicly-owned conservation lands and to encourage the community to explore, volunteer and advocate for the protection of these vital natural resources.

The groups include St. Johns Riverkeeper, North Florida Land Trust, Audubon Florida, Sierra Club Northeast Florida Group, Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute, Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation, and St. Johns River Alliance.

Locally, volunteers can help with a cleanup and trail maintenance at Ft. George Island State Park from 9 am – Noon.   Volunteers should meet at the Ribaut Club, 11241 Fort George Road 32226.

Audubon Florida’s Executive Director Eric Draper: “National Public Lands Day is a perfect reminder of the importance of our remarkable natural heritage and a great opportunity to get your family outdoors. From spotting Painted Buntings and Clapper Rails at Big Talbot Island State Park, to watching Royal Terns and Piping Plovers at Huguenot Memorial Park, iconic Northeast Florida experiences are waiting to be had year-round.”

Unfortunately, efforts are underway throughout the state to possibly sell-off publicly-owned conservation lands.   The St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) is currently undergoing a process to assess the conservation lands that it owns to determine if some properties should be sold.

“We are extremely concerned about the potential loss of important conservation lands that are vital to the water quality and the overall health of the St. Johns,” said Lisa Rinaman, the St. Johns Riverkeeper.  “As a result, we are closely monitoring this process and urge citizens to get involved to ensure that our publicly-owned lands remain in conservation, continuing to benefit us and our river.”

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Please click here for the full press release for more information about National Public Lands Day, potential threats to our conservation lands, and opportunities to enjoy and explore these important natural resources.

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