Conservation

The Florida Legislature might vote to stop allocating money to the Florida Land Acquisition Trust Fund in the upcoming budget.

However, Jim McCarthy, chair of the North Florida Land Trust, said this goes against Amendment 1, which was passed by Florida voters by more than 70 percent in 2014, and shared his concerns about the issue Tuesday on First Coast Connect.

Sean Lahav / UNF's Environmental Center

Updated at 11 a.m. Tuesday

On the wall behind Jim McCarthy’s desk hangs a large photograph of a skeletonized tree trunk resting on the iconic Boneyard Beach at Big Talbot Island State Park.

“That beach is important,” said McCarthy, president of North Florida Land Trust. Since 2012, the nonprofit organization has preserved most of the over 1,000 acres of privately owned land on the island. The project, which protects migratory birds’ layover spots and diamondback terrapins’ dwellings, is largely financed by a private fund.


Leonard J. DeFrancisci / Wikimedia Commons

The Jacksonville City Council is asking for conservation dollars to clean up First Coast waterways.


Peter Haden / WJCT

A lawsuit alleging the Florida Legislature improperly used funds meant for buying conservation land could be expedited.

Circuit Judge Charles Dodson of Tallahassee scheduled a hearing Friday. If Dodson grants a summary judgment motion, conservation groups could get a verdict as soon as the Dec. 5 hearing.


Allie George / WJCT News

On a small beach below the iconic stripes of St. Augustine’s lighthouse, a small crowd gathered in July to cheer on a rehabilitated sea turtle as it was finally returned to the wild.

The Sea Turtle Hospital officially opened its doors at the Whitney Laboratory, just south of St. Augustine, late last year. Since then, it’s served around 100 patients, suffering from injuries ranging from boat strikes to fishing line entanglements.


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