Orlando, FL – (April 15, 2022) On Thursday, the Florida Wildlife Corridor Summit closed after three days of discussions, collaboration and problem-solving all geared toward preserving the Florida Wildlife Corridor for generations to come. Hosted by the Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation, the Summit united close to 300 conservationists, business and real estate experts, policy makers and state agencies to work on some of the most pressing concerns facing the Corridor today.
“Many forces are coming together to support efforts,” said Mallory Dimmitt, CEO of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation. “The framework of the Florida Wildlife Corridor has re-energized land conservation in the Sunshine State, which benefits not just the Corridor, but the entire state. Conserving land anywhere — not just the connected lands in the Corridor — is a win for Floridians as well as the plants and animals that live here. We are leading the way for a national movement for wildlife corridors and achieve landmark conservation by 2030.”
Representatives from Florida’s conservation groups joined key business partners and policy influencers to lead discussions and share knowledge toward achieving this goal. Through expert-panel discussions, fireside chats and inspirational success stories, these leaders aimed to build on their momentum to continue protecting the Corridor. Among the speakers were the Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Shawn Hamilton, and Florida State Representative Paul Renner.
Hamilton spoke to the “amazing commitment” from everyone involved in preserving the corridor. “With that comes a high level of expectations, Hamilton said “And we have to honor those expectations. Not just for [those currently invested] but for the next generations who are trusting us to leave our natural resources in a better position.”
“Long before Florida was the third largest state in the country, it was mostly wild. It was thinly populated but teeming with millions of plants and animals of all varieties. The good news is that a wonderful wildlife corridor in Florida remains. The bad news is that if we don’t act it will dwindle away unless each person in this room commits to saving it,” said Paul Renner, the Florida House of Representative’s Speaker-designate. Renner was joined by other members of the Florida House who signed onto the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act, which passed unanimously and was signed by the governor last year.
Additional speakers included representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation, the University of Florida Water Institute, the Florida Wildlife Federation, and many more. All reinforced the need to work collaboratively to ensure the Florida Wildlife Corridor is protected for the generations to come.
The Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation seeks to accelerate this protection through up to $2 million in grants to encourage innovative approaches and solutions to protecting the Corridor. These grants aim to amplify fresh perspectives on the field of conservation, and fund new and exciting ideas to achieve conservation goals over the next decade.
“Saving the Florida Wildlife Corridor requires bold thinking and new approaches to conservation. This is a chance to incentivize new solutions,” said Mallory Dimmitt.
The Florida Wildlife Corridor Summit ran from the morning of Tuesday, April 12 through the afternoon of Thursday, April 14. Experts from the Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation, Path of the Panther and Archbold Biological Station can be made available for interviews or comments upon request.
Please direct any questions or media requests to Lucy Curtis at firstname.lastname@example.org.