Wildlife 2060:
	   	   What’s	at	stake	for	Florida?
Wildlife 2060: What’s at stake for Florida?

    F    lorida’s natural lands and waters are at the core
         of our s...
Projected land use in 2060

                                                 Robert J. La Follette

Habitat	loss

    Wildlife need wild lands

    O    ver the next 50 years, unprecedented human
         population grow...
When Florida loses one black
                                                                        bear’s home range (25...
Habitat	loss

    Habitat loss is driving a statewide
    decline of gopher tortoises (below).
    These animals were l...
Landowner Kate Boulos pauses with
Habitat	isolation

    Islands in an urban sea                                                As development surrounds ...
Area in
County, now
and as project-
ed to occur in
2060 (ma...
Habitat	isolation

     Green infrastructure is	open	                continues from page 8                       should b...
Peggy Greb, USDA Agricultural Research Service
More than a million acres of Florida’s natural areas are infested by invasi...
Coastal	challenges

                         Crowding coastal wildlife

                         F    lorida’s tidal shor...
Faye Gibson

Coastal	challenges

     Rising sea levels will threaten the
     coastal habitats of many species. With
For	more	information	visit	
Water	qualit y	and	quantit y

                                 Keith Ryan

     Enough water to go around?

     A  ...
For	more	information	visit	
Water	qualit y	and	quantit y

      The rise and fall of the Hillsborough River
      The fish and wildlife in Florida’s ...
establishment of minimum flows
and	levels	(MFL)	for	the	river.	
Through	persistent	work	with	the	                       Sp...
Wildlife/human	interactions

                         Too close for comfort?

                         F     lorida’s wi...
Development	crowds	the	protected	
Wildlife/human	interactions

     Working for wildlife: Community bear management

Access	to	land	and	water

Outdoor legacy at risk?

E   asy access to land and water has long been one of the chief
Access to land and water

     Boat registrations will continue to rise through 2060, but boating access points are
Saltwater fishing trips are projected to rise dramatically as
Florida hunters
     like Cedric
     Hayes, who has
     been hunting
     most of his
     life, worry that
     as much...
Back	cover	photo	credits:	from	left,	Robert	J.	
“The wildlife and its habitat cannot                             speak . . . so we must . . . and we will.”
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Fwc Wildlife2060

  1. 1. Wildlife 2060: What’s at stake for Florida?
  2. 2. Wildlife 2060: What’s at stake for Florida? F lorida’s natural lands and waters are at the core of our state’s prosperity, bringing billions of dollars in economic benefits to our state every year. Current land use in Florida Our forests, rivers and creeks, and next 50 years. If that happens, as coastal waters are invaluable to a study published by 1000 Friends fish and wildlife, and to our own of Florida suggests (see maps quality of life. at right), about 7 million acres Source: Florida 2060: Population But recent predictions indicate of land could be converted from Distribution Scenario for the State that our state’s human population rural and natural to urban uses. of Florida may double to 36 million in the If we develop—as we have in the past—roads, shopping malls and subdivisions will replace the rich diversity our landscape currently offers. Development also will impact our coastal waters and allowing haphazard sprawl, we can coral reefs. keep the Florida we love. We have prepared this report In the following pages, you will to help you understand the changes see predictions of what might come that may occur in Florida’s fish to pass and read stories about and wildlife—and in our own just a few of the many Floridians, lifestyles—if the state’s population both in the private sector and doubles. working for government, who have In the years to come, leaving dedicated themselves to conserving the work of conservation and our fish and wildlife resources. Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation management to just a few won’t What does the future hold for be enough. We will need fresh, Florida’s fish and wildlife? That’s effective strategies, including up to all of us. This report and supporting material can be found at smart growth initiatives and MyFWC.com/wildlife060. Wildlife 2060: What’s at stake for Florida? is based green infrastructure planning, to on projections and analysis by FWC’s 060 team and direct and shape the growth that many scientists throughout the agency. is coming our way. By encouraging Ken Haddad Writer: Susan Cerulean development that is economically Executive Director Designer: Faye Gibson sound, environmentally sensitive Florida Fish and Wildlife Cover photo: Thomas J. Dunkerton August 008 and community-friendly, instead of Conservation Commission
  3. 3. Projected land use in 2060 Robert J. La Follette These maps show Florida as it is today and how it could look in 2060, if its population doubles, as predicted, to nearly 36 million residents. Florida’s balancing act Habitat loss ...................................4 Habitat isolation ............................8 Coastal challenges .................... 12 Water quality and quantity........ 16 Wildlife/human interactions..... 20 Developed land Conservation land Access to land and water .......... 23 Florida’s future and you ..............27 Undeveloped land
  4. 4. Habitat loss Wildlife need wild lands O ver the next 50 years, unprecedented human population growth is predicted to reshape the face of our state. Where nature once ruled, urban development will reign. If Florida’s population doubles and more isolated and degraded. habitat dwindles by 64 square during the next five decades, For the most part, the animals and miles—a landmass more than as Florida 2060: A Population fish that currently live in these three times the size of the island Distribution Scenario for the habitats will disappear. of Manhattan. Florida burrowing State of Florida predicts, about Statewide, the landscapes owls, already a species of special 7 million additional acres of where black bears and wild turkeys concern, will lose an additional land—equivalent to the state of live may decrease by more than 25 percent of their current habitat. Vermont—could be converted from 2 million acres. Gopher tortoises Some of our best strategies to rural and natural to urban uses. may lose a fifth of their existing give large animals and sensitive Nearly 3 million acres of existing range. species a chance to exist include: agricultural lands and 2.7 million Most at risk will be the acquire and protect large parcels acres of native habitat will be hundreds of animals limited to of conservation lands claimed by roads, shopping malls small geographical areas. Known promote compatible agricultural and subdivisions. as endemic species, some examples activity such as cattle ranches The addition of 18 million new are the Florida scrub-jay, the and timber operations residents to Florida will intensely Florida burrowing owl and a roster develop alternative protection heighten the competition between of lovely plants restricted to tiny techniques, such as conservation wildlife and humans for land and habitats in Central Florida—scrub easements and tax incentives water resources. blazing star and pygmy fringe More than 1.6 million acres of ensure thoughtful, large-scale tree, among them. Under the land-use planning, development woodland habitat may be lost and 2060 scenario, Florida scrub-jays design and meaningful wetland habitats will become more will shrink in number as their How many acres of habitat might these animals lose by 2060? 1.9 million 2.3 million 200,000 300,000 700,000 200,000 acres acres acres acres acres acres Bald eagle Florida black bear Florida burrowing owl Florida panther Gopher tortoise Wood stork
  5. 5. When Florida loses one black bear’s home range (25,000 acres), we also lose the homes for: 1 bear Lands equivalent to the size of 25,000 acre average home range Vermont may be lost by 2060. 60 bobcats 1 bobcat per 410 acres mitigation agreements are put in place to preserve our precious fish and wildlife habitats. 165 Soon, the ultimate footprint foxes of development in Florida will be 1 fox per 150 acres set in asphalt and concrete. The choice is ours: Do we want to see a continuous expanse of subdivisions 580deer spread from coast to coast, or vibrant communities linked by 1 deer per 43 acres a green infrastructure that protects open space, farmland and wildlife? 1,250 Northern bobwhites 1 bobwhite per 20 acres 2,000 cardinals 1 cardinal per 12 acres 2.5 million trees assuming a spacing of 20’ x 20’ or 100 per acre Photos, pages 4 and 5: David 6,975 trillion insects Moynahan, Milt Fox, Robert J. La Follette, Kate Boulos, and VISITFLORIDA assuming 275 million insects per acre 2.1 million acres Development of 2.7 million acres of native habitat will result in significant losses for Wild turkey Florida’s biodiversity.
  6. 6. Habitat loss Habitat loss is driving a statewide decline of gopher tortoises (below). These animals were listed as a threatened species in 2007 by the FWC. The Commission’s goal for gopher tortoise conservation is to protect a total of nearly 2 million acres of suitable habitat. But instead, if development proceeds as anticipated, a fifth of this animal’s present range may be converted to urban uses. David Moynahan Working for wildlife: Landowners get it right “I’ve got serious concerns about “In the years to come, we simply “In North Central Florida, we’ve overdevelopment in our state,” said aren’t going to be able to afford to buy identified the Watermelon Pond Watermelon Pond landowner Kate all of the land that needs protecting,” focal area in Levy, Alachua and Boulos, a native Floridian. “But said FWC biologist Scott Sanders. Gilchrist counties,” said Chris Wynn, through the Landowner Assistance “We’ll be more effective if we assist who coordinates FWC’s statewide Program of the Florida Fish and folks who own key wildlife habitats to Landowner Assistance Program. Wildlife Conservation Commission manage and protect their own land.” “We’re concentrating on about 8,000 (FWC), I have seen my own property The agency’s Landowner acres of really important sandhill transformed into lush open fields Assistance Program does just that: habitat that’s anchored by several and forests that attract quail, cavity- partnering with private owners to important chunks of public land, nesting birds, bald eagles, turkeys and achieve conservation benefits on including the Goethe State Forest.” many other kinds of wildlife in greater private lands. Two habitats particularly Some of the Watermelon Pond and greater numbers.” at risk due to urban development are landowners are interested in hunting 6 in the spotlight: sandhill and scrub. and want help managing their land
  7. 7. Landowner Kate Boulos pauses with two of her setters on the Watermelon Pond acreage she manages in Alachua County with advice from the FWC Landowner Assistance Program. Endangered again? Bald eagles have done so well in recent years, they have been removed from the endangered list. But if the state’s human population doubles, eagles could lose ground. That’s because only 40 percent of Florida’s 1,248 bald eagle nests are on protected public lands. Smart growth strategies can help protect eagles and other Florida wildlife. Faye Gibson David Moynahan Floridians at work for deer and quail. Others want to necessary. We also teach the art of When the people of Florida encourage wildlife, such as box prescribed burning. know and value local native turtles, fox squirrels, woodpeckers “Then we’ll visit their individual species and communities, or songbirds. properties and suggest what they they take steps to protect All acknowledge the common could do to improve their habitat. local ecosystems. Since 19, thread they share—the stewardship If they’re agreeable, we write up residents in 0 Florida counties of declining habitat. a contract, typically including a have voted to tax themselves “When we get together with the 0:0 cost share,” Wynn said. “The to preserve important local landowners, we talk about why this landowners bring their lands, time landscapes, raising more particular habitat is valuable to wild- and energy to the table. We provide than $ billion to purchase life,” Wynn said. “We demonstrate information, technical assistance and approximately ,000 acres how to plant longleaf pines and how some financial help.” of conservation lands. to use herbicides carefully where
  8. 8. Habitat isolation Islands in an urban sea As development surrounds conservation lands, and new roads splinter the landscape, wide-ranging M animals like the Florida panther may be unable to ore than 2 million of 7 million move safely between shrinking patches of habitat. acres projected to be developed by 2060 lie within a mile of existing public conservation lands. So, even though we’ve protected several million acres of wildlife management areas, parks, forests and preserves in Florida, these lands will become increasingly isolated from one another. For wildlife, this means their remaining habitats will come to be islands within an urban sea. And these disconnected fragments of habitat will support reduced populations of animals and plants more vulnerable to extinction as their genetic viability declines. Along with projected development, comes new roads that will splinter and dissect the Florida landscape. Animals with large home ranges, such as panthers or black bears, will find themselves more and more at risk. What else will happen to wildlife as habitats are isolated by development? It will become much more difficult for land managers to maintain healthy habitats through natural ecological processes, such as prescribed fire. Towns and roads stop fire from moving across the landscape as it once did, and fewer prescribed burns will make it more difficult to renew the landscape in a safe, controlled fashion. Nonnative and invasive species establish themselves more easily along the disturbed edges of habitat fragments. Hundreds of these invasive species already infest more than a million acres of Florida’s natural areas. Land managers already battle melaleuca, Brazilian pepper, Japanese climbing fern, Chinese tallow tree and others that crowd out Tim Lewis 8 continues on page 10
  9. 9. Development ringing Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area in Charlotte County, now and as project- ed to occur in 2060 (maps at right). Babcock-Webb WMA Babcock-Webb WMA Developed land Developed land Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area, 00 Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area, 060 9
  10. 10. Habitat isolation Green infrastructure is open continues from page 8 should be thought of no differently native species and smother their from the cost of the upkeep of space managed for conservation, habitats. We can expect to see other public infrastructure, such recreation or compatible agricul- many more invaders as the fast as roads, buildings and bridges. ture. Florida’s green infrastruc- pace of development increasingly But a 2005 study of a selection of fragments our state’s green public lands found that while 96 ture connects public and private infrastructure. percent of our public lands are lands; some parcels are as big as Overall, land managers expect open for public access, funding for a watershed, others as small as a that both freshwater and terres- land management is at 56 percent trial systems will have to be even of need, and land management footpath. more actively managed by 2060 staffing is at just over half of need. than they are now. Lake draw- It just makes sense to protect downs, chemical and mechanical what we can of Florida’s remaining invasive plant control, prescribed natural areas and minimize the fire and moving wildlife around effects of habitat fragmentation. to combat genetic inbreeding will Connecting large areas of con- help, but at great cost. servation lands by protecting a Effective land management series of natural or compatible requires a commitment to agricultural areas makes a more sufficient funding. The cost of functional landscape overall and prescribed fire, invasive plant will help our wildlife thrive in management and lake drawdowns the future. Working for wildlife: Brevard connects the pieces Brevard County made conservation Most individual Florida scrub-jays history in 1990 when voters support- never fly more than a mile from their ed a bond referendum to purchase birthplace. Moreover, these birds can environmentally endangered lands only live in rare oak scrub, a fire- in the county. Since that time, the dominated shrub community unique to Brevard County Environmentally Florida and found only on well-drained Endangered Lands Program has sandy soils. In Brevard County, nearly protected more than 1,000 acres 0 percent of scrub habitat has been of threatened habitat. lost to agriculture and commercial Brevard is dedicated to protecting and residential development, as the what’s left of its natural biodiversity, area’s human population skyrockets. using science to guide its land What scrub parcels remain are highly selection process. fragmented and of poor quality due This is good news for Florida to the suppression of natural fire. scrub-jays, azure-feathered birds The scrub-jay’s biological needs and that are on a collision course with Florida’s development trends are 10 David Moynahan development in Florida. directly at odds.
  11. 11. Peggy Greb, USDA Agricultural Research Service More than a million acres of Florida’s natural areas are infested by invasive nonnative plants such as Old World climbing fern, kudzu and hundreds of others. Yet biologist Dave Breininger, a priorities on the FWC’s 199 Closing Will scrub-jays survive long-term member of the county’s the Gaps report. in bustling Brevard? Science Advisory Committee, is “We brought in the regional Breininger thinks so: “We can optimistic about the fate of scrub-jays perspective of our local naturalists, maintain the jays, as long as we’re in Brevard. Breininger and his fellow scientists and biologists to develop a able to continue burning,” he said. scientists meet at least once a month really viable local plan for protection “These are small landscapes we to guide the county’s land acquisition and acquisition,” Breininger said. are protecting, and we will have to priorities. “You can’t look at sites indepen- manage them very carefully.” “We have spent an incredible dently of one another,” Breininger With its partners, Brevard’s amount of time forming our said. “You have to think about which Environmentally Endangered perspective on what are the most are the critical landscapes so you Lands Program has acquired more important sites to protect in our can have a system of reserves large than 10,000 acres of scrub and county to preserve biodiversity,” said enough and connected enough surrounding habitat; there remains an Breininger. Brevard based some of to support rare creatures like additional 16,000 acres to complete its early thinking about conservation scrub-jays.” the project. 11
  12. 12. Coastal challenges Crowding coastal wildlife F lorida’s tidal shoreline is so enduring that some of the earth’s most ancient creatures, sea turtles, have evolved to make their nests on our state’s sandy beaches. In fact, more sea turtle species (five) nest in Florida than any place else on the planet. Our shoreline also is ephemeral. Nesting shorebirds, sea turtles, Its nature is to shift, roll over and migrating manatees, fishes and rebuild, in response to the rhythms the habitats they all depend on are of the seas. increasingly pressured by a tide of Florida’s coral reefs and keys, beachgoers and boaters. barrier islands and sugar-sand For example, 27 of Florida’s beaches, mangrove forests, salt 35 coastal counties offer nesting marshes and fertile estuaries beach habitat for sea turtles. powerfully lure residents and The majority of these beaches tourists alike to linger. Seventy- already are affected by nearby two percent of Florida’s estimated development. Some human 18 million residents live or work impacts, such as beach lighting, in coastal areas. The population of can be managed. More permanent our coastal counties is predicted to changes, such as coastal armoring, Robert J. La Follette More than 26 million people may double from 12.3 million to more are more difficult to mitigate and crowd Florida’s coasts by 2060. than 26 million by 2060. result in a loss of nesting habitat. Unpredictable natural events Loving our beaches to death in coastal ecosystems, such And, once we have established a as hurricanes or red tide, can foothold in this paradise, we want exacerbate impacts from human For more information visit to stay put. activities. In 2005, the Gulf of MyFWC.com/wildlife060 Development often occurs Mexico experienced the worst red very close to the dunes that tide outbreak in 34 years, resulting buffer the coast from storms, in economic and wildlife losses, interrupting the natural cycle of including dead manatees, dolphins, erosion and rebuilding. The result sea turtles and millions of pounds is often an expensive cycle of of dead fish washed ashore. beach renourishment and seawall But the greatest challenge by construction. In fact, seawalls far for our gently sloping coasts now extend along an estimated may be the rate and magnitude 14 to 20 percent of sandy beaches, of climate change. Although eliminating vital wildlife habitat. we cannot accurately predict how much sea level will rise, 1
  13. 13. Faye Gibson Okaloosa -12% Gulf St Johns it will bring dramatic changes -7% -32% to Florida’s coastal habitats, Flagler significantly affecting both the -49% state’s natural habitats, and its fish and wildlife populations. Potentially impacted Our challenge, then, is to sea turtle nesting area balance the protection of our The largest impact to sea turtle wondrous coastline—the state’s nesting beaches is predicted St Lucie -33% economic engine, after all—even to occur in Collier, Flagler, as ever more people come to live Gulf, Okaloosa, St. Johns and and work close to its edge. St. Lucie counties. This map displays the potential reduction Collier of sea turtle nesting habitat -13% associated with development. 1
  14. 14. Coastal challenges Rising sea levels will threaten the coastal habitats of many species. With significantly fewer sandy beaches, rare and beautiful shorebirds such as the American oystercatcher may have no place to nest, lay eggs and raise the next generations. Much of Florida’s low-lying coastline is vulnerable to sea level rise. Climate change will determine the height of sea level rise Florida will experience. 0 1 2 3 5 8 12 20 35 60 80 Height above sea level (m) David Moynahan Robert A. Rohde Working for wildlife: What they are doing to save Tampa Bay “Here’s what gives me hope: seeing Often working with local parks how much people really care about and Tampa Bay Watch, O’Hara Tampa Bay,” said Nanette O’Hara, focuses her eager workforce on public outreach coordinator for the shoreline and upland restoration that Tampa Bay Estuary program. directly improves the water quality of “I have 00 people in our volunteer Tampa Bay. Over a period of years, database, some of whom have never volunteers have succeeded in creating missed a workday since 001.” the first park in Hillsborough County The Estuary Program, a regional that is free of invasive plants. “That’s alliance of residents, industry and a lot of backbreaking labor, sweat government at many levels, is equity and commitment,” O’Hara said. changing the face of Tampa Bay for Most importantly, though, has the better. been the residents’ insistence on 1 Tampa Bay Estuary Program
  15. 15. For more information visit MyFWC.com/wildlife060 Reef Relief Key West: Sandhill Key, August 19, 1993, a healthy reef Coral cover has declined from 12 percent to 6 percent in the Florida Keys reefs since 1996, according to FWC’s Coral Monitoring Team. Sixty percent of the world’s coral reefs may die by 2050 if current levels of pollution, and stressors such as bleaching and hurricanes, continue unabated (Coral Reef Relief Key West: Sandhill Key, August 19, 2001, a dying reef Reef Task Force, 2000). dramatically improving the Bay’s finances cutting-edge research into Bay—Hillsborough, Manatee and overall health. key problems impacting the bay; Pinellas. That number is expected “People said they wanted Tampa sponsors demonstration projects to grow by more than half a million Bay to look like it did in the 190s, in to test innovative solutions to these by 01. With a total land area terms of water quality and sea grass problems and provides “mini-grants” of ,0 square miles, this is an cover,” O’Hara said. “Our scientists to community groups to engage the average increase of more than 0 agreed that was an achievable goal.” public in bay restoration. The program people per square mile. And that restoration has come also develops educational programs “Every new person moving into to pass. Surveys have recorded some targeting key segments of the Bay our area has an impact,” O’Hara 6,000 acres of new or expanded sea community—including teachers, said. “One of our primary jobs is to grass beds in the Bay since 1988, boaters and homeowners. teach people how to reduce that some in areas like Hillsborough Bay As of 00, it was estimated that impact.” where they hadn’t been for decades. . million people lived in the three The Tampa Bay Estuary Program counties directly bordering Tampa 1
  16. 16. Water qualit y and quantit y Keith Ryan Enough water to go around? A generous 55 inches of rain soaks the Florida landscape each year, recharging our aquifers (the source of 92 percent of our human drinking water) and sustaining the flow of our rivers and springs. But it doesn’t all come at once. as nature intended. During periods water a day for drinking, watering More than half the year’s rainfall of high flow, streams and rivers lawns, industry and agriculture. may arrive in just two hot summer sometimes crest their banks, Agriculture uses more than half months. In the fall and winter, allowing fish and crustaceans of this fresh water each day—about water levels fall, flows dwindle. to shift temporarily into newly- 4 billion gallons. From freshwater mussels to flooded habitats to feed, breed, Already, parts of South and delicious blue crabs to long-legged and avoid predators. At dry times, East Florida drink more ground- wading birds, many Florida birds feast on the fish concentrated water than the rain replenishes. creatures depend on the distinct into shrinking pools. Without these Saltwater intrusion, dried-up lakes wet and dry seasons that have alternating wet and dry periods, and an increased number of sink- characterized Florida’s weather many plants and animals cannot holes are a few of the symptoms of patterns for thousands of years. reproduce, or even survive. over-tapped aquifers. They rely on not just a consistent Enter into this equation a Our water woes will be amount of water in their wetland single species, Homo sapiens. intensified by predicted dramatic 16 habitats. They also require depths Florida’s human population uses growth in Florida’s human and salinities timed and delivered nearly 7 billion gallons of fresh population.
  17. 17. For more information visit MyFWC.com/wildlife060 Florida has lost more wetland acres than any other state. Millions of acres were filled in or paved over by the late 1980s, when protections were strengthened. But if our population doubles by 2060, many more wetlands will be isolated or degraded by surrounding development. Many thousands of white ibis, wood storks and other wading birds will disappear as their nesting and feeding habitat is lost. Thomas J. Dunkerton Now the fourth-most populous wildlife. Wide public support for We must continue to establish state in the nation, Florida in the Everglades restoration and many minimum flows and levels for lakes, next decade is predicted to grow other smaller scale projects makes rivers and springs, below which another 21 percent, exceeding 21 clear that most Floridians want to significant harm to the water million residents. Total demand for conserve water for the environment resources or ecology of these areas water is projected to reach nearly as well as for people. would result. This will become ever 8 billion gallons a day—at least 1 more essential as billion gallons more than at Statewide fresh water demand projection pressure mounts present. Moreover, models predict to withdraw more 8.41 that as global climate patterns and more surface change, there will be less rainfall 7.84 water for industry in South Florida, where the and urbanization. majority of humans reside, and It will take all more in the northern region of 7.33 of us to protect the state. Florida’s fabulous How will there be enough storks, spoonbills, 6.94 Billions of gallons per day water to go around in 2060, if our 6.56 manatees and human population expands by an largemouth bass additional 18 million as projected? as more and more As competition among users fresh water is heightens, it will become more appropriated for important to protect water for Florida’s demand for fresh water will increase by at least a human needs. people, agricultural and other billion gallons per day over the next 10 years. That’s enough to 1 businesses—and for fish and fill a swimming pool every two seconds all day . . . every day.
  18. 18. Water qualit y and quantit y The rise and fall of the Hillsborough River The fish and wildlife in Florida’s illustrates the difference in flow surfaces and dams have significantly rivers and streams are well between a natural river and a altered the river’s flow. synchronized with seasonal managed one. The blue shows the 500 rising and falling in water Hillsborough River as it naturally rises Hope on the horizon 400 level. This graph and falls near Zephyrhills, while the A group of landowners along the yellow section shows that only 0 river (Friends of the Hillsborough 300 miles downstream, near Tampa, paved River) took a very active role in the 200 100 Natural river near Zephyrhills 0 Managed river near Tampa Jun 06 Jul 06 Aug 06 Sep 06 Oct 06 Nov 06 Dec 06 Jan 07 Feb 07 Mar 07 Apr 07 May 07 Jun 07 Working for water: It’s more than a local story “Our job is to talk to whoever will listen about the protection and preservation of Florida’s most endangered and precious river and bay—the Apalachicola and its tributaries,” said Andy Smith, executive director of Apalachicola Riverkeeper. “We use water quality data and technical information to educate and empower citizens.” “The Apalachicola is recognized as a national ecological treasure,” added Dan Tonsmeire, who holds the title of Riverkeeper for the 1,00- member organization. “The protection of endangered fish and mussels in the Apalachicola River, and the seafood industry in Apalachicola Bay, is well understood by the local community. Harvesters and wholesalers of highly- prized Apalachicola Bay oysters are especially concerned about the con- nection between the river and the bay.” “We are a hands-on organization,” Smith said. “We are all about getting 18 into the water, doing some positive
  19. 19. establishment of minimum flows and levels (MFL) for the river. Through persistent work with the Springs are crystalline conduits to Florida’s groundwater aquifers—and water management district, water essential to our drinking water and utility and county, they were able the habitat for many kinds of fish and to have the MFL revisited and wildlife. But we are withdrawing water increased. Millions of gallons of from aquifers faster than it can be fresh water that were diverted replenished. Decreased flow at many from the river now will be returned springs is stressing sensitive, spring- to augment its flow. Such citizen dwelling striped bass and other animals initiatives can achieve powerful FWC and plants. results for fish and wildlife. Richard Bickel restoration that everyone can see, leaving a lasting physical legacy.” Apalachicola Riverkeeper’s staff and hard-working volunteers monitor Franklin County’s important nesting shorebird colonies and assist with sea grass restoration on Lanark Reef. They also participate in periodic coastal and river cleanups, operate the Riverkeeper’s tiny storefront in Apalachicola and fly with nonprofit Southwings to document changes along the coast. One of the group’s most exciting projects currently is to convince a string of waterfront landowners to install wave-breaking boulders, a coastal restoration alternative much more wildlife-friendly than seawalls. “Riverkeeper runs on the passion of our members and volunteers,” Tonsmeire said. “We all love this place. This river. This bay.” There are 1 similar Riverkeeper or Waterkeeper nonprofit organizations around the nation. Apalachicola’s group is one of four in Florida. 19
  20. 20. Wildlife/human interactions Too close for comfort? F lorida’s wildlife and human populations are encountering one another more often than ever. You might even say we’re on a used to live—their habitats, their subdivisions that have replaced collision course—with alligators, homes. The problem is made their forest and wetland homes. black bears, sandhill cranes, worse by unplanned development Sandhill cranes, alligators and Florida panthers, raccoons and that lacks rural buffers between other species, such as raccoons, many others. It’s not only the wildlife-rich areas and suburban opossums and deer can adapt to increasing numbers of roads and homes. and even thrive very close to our vehicles (and structures like cell residences—if we allow them. phone towers) that are directly Where did the wildlife go? Many Floridians, especially killing our wildlife. It’s also that Evicted animals don’t always new residents, are inexperienced we are moving into their territories go easily. Sometimes they try to with wild animal neighbors or and taking over the places they continue to share back yards and scared by their presence. Their 0
  21. 21. Development crowds the protected land Susan, this NASA image is of Ormond by the Sea and is backed up by land in the Volusia Forever program - according to concerns include property damage, become more isolated from the The Internet research. We need a good my Florida 2060 report the possibility of disease or natural world, and less caring. projects that within the next 50 cutline and maybe some confirmation predation on pets or livestock. Entomologist Robert M. Pyle calls years, Florida’s human population is. about exactly what the green space Sometimes development results this the extinction of experience will more than double. Without any in uncomfortably close quarters and said, “When a creature dies changes in our land-use policies, for wildlife and humans, but it can out within your ‘radius of reach’— the additional acreage converted also result in too little connection. the area to which you have easy to urban use also will more than Most people want and need contact access—it might as well be gone double. This means not only loss with the natural world. For altogether because you will not be of habitat and wildlife, but more example, in 2001, nearly 2 million able to see it as you could before.” encounters with wildlife that we Floridians reported feeding birds More than 90 percent of Floridians don’t choose in this increasingly in their yards. now live in urban areas; we hear crowded world. But when local populations bird songs and frog calls far less How will we balance our love of of wildlife are displaced frequently than leaf blowers and Florida’s diverse wildlife and their from suburban areas, people air conditioners. need for habitat? Complaints about alligators are on the rise Hope on the horizon People and alligators are encountering each other more and Defenders of Wildlife, FWC and more frequently in Florida. Human population growth and others have teamed up to help the remarkable recovery of the state’s alligator population Floridians living in panther are leading to steadily increasing complaints. If complaints country—and in turn, help continue to increase save the last remaining Florida at the same rate, panthers. Local families and Based on current trends, they could more than volunteers in Collier County complaints about alligators will continue to increase: triple by 060. came together in 00 to 1980 ........., build predator-proof pens to 20,000 00 ....... 1,00 protect livestock and pets 0 ...... 8,00 from panthers. 2060.......47,800 As development continues 15,000 to boom in Florida, panther/ human conflicts are on the rise. These new pens help Number of complaints 10,000 keep communities safe while significantly reducing pressure on the big cats living nearby. 5,000 0 1 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Richard Leighton
  22. 22. Wildlife/human interactions Working for wildlife: Community bear management 1,500 Based on current trends, What’s at the heart of the conflicts complaints about bears between people and bears? Think will increase dramatically: Number of complaints (average) food. Bears eat 8-10,000 calories 198 ........................... 8 each day, and more than 0,000 a 1,000 00 ...................1, day in the fall as they begin fattening 0 ................... ,900 up for the winter. It’s easier (but 2060 ................33,800 unhealthier) for bears to get their 500 calories from rich human food sources—garbage, pet food and bird feeders—than from acorns, berries and grubs. 0 Feeding of bears, whether 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 intended or unintended, is the number one source of human/bear conflict. It’s also illegal. FWC biologists and partners conflicts. But even the Panhandle’s Complaints across the state are learning Franklin County has chronic and about bears techniques to minimize bear/people escalating issues with bears. are rising fast. problems, including the development “Human/bear conflict manage- As development of local ordinances that require ment is new in the Southeast,” said continues to bear-resistant garbage containers. FWC biologist Mike Orlando. replace bear habitat and as The FWC and partners have helped “We are finding that community- bears rebound purchase dumpsters and trash cans based partnerships are the way to go,” Milt Fox from historic for hot spots like Franklin County and added Stephanie Simek, FWC’s Bear lows, people Wekiwa Springs State Park. Ultimately, Management Program coordinator. and bears are Feeding of counties and schools statewide can “Most people are willing to do the right bears, whether coming into help bears stay wild by requiring thing if you help them understand contact more and intended or the use of these bear-resistant what’s at stake.” more. If current unintended, is the number garbage containers and dumpsters. In this case, it is the peaceful trends continue, one source of When bears learn that food is no coexistence of humans and the state’s complaints will human/bear longer available at trash sites, they largest mammal. increase to conflict. It’s also stop coming. 5,900 by 2025 illegal. Florida black bears have come and will soar to 33,800 by 2060. back from the edge of extinction in the past 0 or 0 years, increasing six- fold to ,00-,000 individuals—just in time to run afoul of the massive influx of new Florida residents. The Central Florida counties of Seminole, Lake, Marion and Sumter report the majority of human/bear
  23. 23. Access to land and water Outdoor legacy at risk? E asy access to land and water has long been one of the chief factors in Floridians’ quality of life. For some, fishing, hunting or watching wildlife are pure pleasure; for others, it’s a living. Wayne Smaridge No room at the ramp trailered boats vying for existing For more information visit Whether you’re a commercial boat ramps is estimated to double MyFWC.com/wildlife060 fisherman, recreational boater or along with the human population simply an angler who wants some between 2006 and 2060 from about weekend time on the water, you’re 900,000 boats on trailers, to nearly probably feeling the congestion of 1.8 million. too many boats and too little access Finding available and afford- to the water. able waterfront property for new In many places, inland waters launching facilities is a tough and boat launches are jammed. challenge for state and local And it’s no wonder—more governments. Purchase of public than a million registered boats access points to the Atlantic and (more than any other state) Gulf has largely stalled under actively ply Florida waters. It’s the pressure of rising land prices, going to get worse. The number of increased insurance cost and the
  24. 24. Access to land and water Boat registrations will continue to rise through 2060, but boating access points are not expected to keep pace. Many communities have nowhere left to build. In numerous locations, public access has declined as marinas and other access points are converted to private use. As a result, wait times can be expected to increase significantly. 2.0 million registrations 1.5 million rati ons egist registrations B oat r 10,000 1.0 million facilities registrations 5,000 0.5 million facilities Access facilities registrations 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 2060 privatization of existing ramps and to offer boat slips to their new boat facilities that provide access. residents. We are losing traditional working waterfronts (think of Oysters versus yachts? historic Cortez in Manatee County, Times are tough for commercial the Panhandle’s oyster-rich town anglers, as well. Working marinas of Carrabelle or Mayport in Duval and boatyards are giving way to County), and with them, not only Florida’s status as the top destination for luxury condo builders who want an important economic sector but if we do not properly manage predicted growth. Working for waterfront: Port Salerno “All over the state, fish houses are going out of business,” said Captain Ed Olson, a fifth-generation fisherman born and raised in Martin County’s Port Salerno, a natural harbor at the intersection of the St. Lucie and Indian rivers. “We need a place to Captain Ed bring our product. Otherwise we can’t Olson and his keep our fishing alive.” father, Butch, But the local economy has represent five changed dramatically, shifting from generations one based on commercial fishing to a of commercial 24 fishing Olsons. recreational fishery. Today, only one Faye Gibson
  25. 25. Saltwater fishing trips are projected to rise dramatically as population increases in Florida. Estimated saltwater fishing trips 120 (from MRFSS survey data) million Projected saltwater fishing trips 100 (based on continued annual 2.5% increase) million Projected saltwater fishing trips 80 (linked to population growth) million 60 million 40 million 20 million 0 05 09 5 9 3 25 29 33 45 49 53 01 13 21 57 97 37 41 17 8 8 9 20 19 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 19 19 19 20 20 20 20 20 20 also part of our state’s history that many may compete for the and culture. same resources. But urbanization, water Let’s go fishing supply development, and pollution During the past decade, 1.4 million associated with growth could Sandy Beck anglers enjoyed Florida’s abundant radically impact the ability of bird watchers nationwide will be challenged and diverse freshwater fisheries; by Florida’s freshwater systems to 2060, estimates are that twice produce an adequate quantity active fish house still operates in Port Salerno provides an ideal year-round, tending their nets six the port. harbor for fishermen working the to 10 hours a day, five or six days To preserve their way of life and Atlantic Ocean and is the principle a week. livelihood, the commercial fishermen reason Port Salerno was settled “I’d be lost without this work,” of Port Salerno dug deep into their during the 190s. At its height, the Olson said. “When you’ve been own pockets and secured a long-term fishing industry supported eight fishing for a living all your life, you lease for a portion of the county- wholesale fish houses here. wouldn’t know where else to start. owned waterfront. They maintain the “Fishing is really in my blood,” “That’s why we’ve put commercial docks to county code, and Olson said. “My grandfather moved so much time and effort into have incorporated themselves as a here to Port Salerno from Norway in maintaining a good relationship nonprofit entity. Thirty-four fishermen the early 1900s.” with the county,” Olson said. participate. Captain Ed Olson and his father “We’re dedicated to doing this “We needed to be sure we’d have work out of two small skiffs, netting right.” a place to offload and sell our fish, tie Spanish mackerel, mullet and our boats, and work on our gear,” said sheepshead for the local wholesale Olson. “This waterfront is our home.” fish market. They fish mostly inshore,
  26. 26. Florida hunters like Cedric Hayes, who has been hunting most of his life, worry that as much as Hunting in 060: 25 percent Will it break your budget? of the private The cost of a hunting lease on lands currently providing hunting private lands is skyrocketing. opportunities 198 ..............................$/acre may disappear if the 2060 00 ............................$1/acre development 060 ......................... $00/acre ? projections are realized. David Moynahan of species such as the Florida expected human population in- enjoyed with plenty of open space largemouth bass, a popular sport crease and impacts to important and elbow room. Nearly 6 million fish targeted by anglers. nursery habitat, and it’s clear that acres are currently available for What does the future hold for management is likely to become hunting and other public access, Florida’s saltwater recreational increasingly restrictive. Catch-and- yet Florida’s hunters say they anglers? Saltwater fishing is one release fishing only, significant already feel the squeeze. of our most popular and economi- closed areas or seasons and If the 2060 development cally important outdoor activities. increasing reliance on fish projections are realized, Florida Occasionally, competition for “fish- hatcheries may be required to may lose 25 percent of the private ing space” is a problem, even today. maintain fishable populations. lands currently providing hunting Productive patches of ocean bottom As Florida grows, our opportunities. may be nearly continuously fished anglers—both salt- and fresh- As Florida’s population more by anglers pursuing grouper or water must prepare for more than doubles over the next 50 snapper, thanks to modern elec- limited access to the sport they years, public lands will be increas- tronics. The world famous Boca love, and increased costs to support ingly pressured by urban develop- Grande tarpon fishery has already management activities like habitat ment. Buffering conservation lands seen user conflicts and competition, restoration, hatcheries, and from development will require and the debate is growing over resource protection. everyone who enjoys our public the issue of protecting important lands—from bird watchers to marine areas from fishing pressure. Hunting for wild lands bicyclists, and hunters to hikers— Combine the prospects of Hunting—whether for deer, ducks, to work together to find solutions 6 increasing fishing effort, the turkey or quail—is a sport best for sharing public access.
  27. 27. Back cover photo credits: from left, Robert J. La Follette, Mary Wozny, Anne P. Birch and VISIT FLORIDA For more information visit MyFWC.com/wildlife060 These LAKEWATCH volunteers are working to protect local wetland habitats. What can you do to help Florida’s wildlife and wild lands? LAKEWATCH So, what does the future hold Does your community view the management of its green infra- for Florida fish and wildlife? structure in the same way it does upkeep and management of public roads, buildings or bridges? It’s really up to all of us to decide. How does your community We can’t stop growth in Florida. agencies and organizations that support prescribed burning of But we can set ourselves to the nearby public and private lands? share a common love of our state task of making sure the pattern and its fish and wildlife. How is your community of growth that does come has Here are some places to start. conserving coastal forests, dunes, minimal impact on our natural Visit MyFWC.com/wildlife2060 for beaches and wetlands? lands, waters, fish and wildlife. a more comprehensive list of the How is your community The future may seem tasks at hand. safeguarding your region’s water overwhelming, but if we work resources? Does your city or county have a together on smart growth local land acquisition program? Is your community protecting initiatives, green infrastructure shoreline access and working Are roads in your community planning and other innovative waterfronts? being designed and located strategies, we can help protect to accommodate the needs of What are you doing to ensure the state we love. We encourage wildlife? that future generations will you to get involved, joining forces benefit from the same robust fish Are you incorporating wildlife with the Florida Fish and Wildlife and wildlife resources that we habitat conservation measures Conservation Commission, and all on your property? enjoy today?
  28. 28. “The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak . . . so we must . . . and we will.” – Theodore Roosevelt Wildlife 2060: What’s at stake for Florida? Floridians have long recognized light of what is predicted to be an the link between the preservation explosion of human population in of habitat and species and their the next 0 years? own quality of life. These challenges, while Now, we face what may be the formidable, can be met if we all biggest challenges we have ever work together. Look inside to learn been given: How do we manage how you and your community can fish and wildlife to ensure their start helping today. survival, and our enjoyment – all in Printed on recycled paper. Please recycle by passing this publication on to a friend and recycling it when you’re done. Thank you. Our mission: Managing fish and wildlife resources for their 8 long-term well-being and the benefit of people.