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wetlands protection

The Wetlands are more than a safe habitat for wildlife. Wetlands clean and supply our drinking water, lessen wildfire risk, provide habitat for myriad species and support a     $65 million tourism economy. Often referred to as "nature's kidneys" the wetlands also provide natural flood protections during Florida’s wet season by naturally storing water, then releasing it slowly after big rains. They are truly one of nature's marvels, but they are under attack.

The Wetlands Protect Us;
We Must Protect Them

70% of SOUTHWEST FLORIDA'S  Historic Shallow Wetlands

Sources: National Audubon Society and South Florida Water Management District



Acres shallow wetlands destroyed in Big Cypress watershed since 2004

Source: NOAA

$70 million

Cost to fight wildfires in Big Cypress in 2017 

Big Cypress National Reserve


Acres burned in Golden Gate Estates area Spring 2017 

Source: Source: multiple media accounts

Probable Culprits: Regional over-drainage, over-pumping, and clearing/filling wetlands.

Wood Storks are disappearing from the Everglades, and other wading birds struggle. Loss of shallow wetlands is causing their steep decline.

Federally-threatened Wood Storks depend upon healthy, functioning shallow wetlands for survival and successful offspring

AWE is on the Frontlines
of Wetlands Protection


Our work is getting results...

  • Restored and preserved wetland systems in developments negotiated by AWE.

  • Improved federal protection standards for wood stork foraging habitat (with Audubon Florida).

  • Improved federal mitigation banking policies for shallow wetland protection (with Audubon Florida).

  • Improved statewide wetland regulations.

  • Proposed improved rules for state mitigation regulations.

  • Supports Collier County flow way restoration in Picayune Strand State Forest.

  • Supports Picayune Strand Restoration Project – more than 70,000 acres of wetlands and habitat restoration.

  • Successfully applied for new 2800-acre Florida Forever project, CREW Headwaters, in 2016.

Contribute to our work on these initiatives

Help us protect more land with a financial gift.

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