Past Projects

 

Planning for Sea-level Rise in the Matanzas Basin
Principal Investigator: Kathryn Frank, University of Florida in partnership with the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve


The goal of this project was to examine the current and potential future impacts of sea-level rise on natural and developed areas in the Matanzas River estuary and watershed. The University of Florida worked with staff from the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, as well as a diverse steering committee and other local experts to conduct science-based analyses of potential sea level rise impacts and adaptation priorities, capacity building and public outreach activities, and to provide potential adaptation strategies and integrated planning recommendations that could be applied within the watershed.

 

The Center for Landscape Conservation Planning assisted with all components of the project in coordination with the Principal Investigator, but particularly project management and GIS-based analyses of conservation priorities at the landscape, natural community, species, and water resource scales. Additional information can be found on the project website here: http://planningmatanzas.org/.

 

A link to the final project report and GIS database can be found on the Project Downloads page.

 

Planning for Coastal Change in Levy County

Principal Investigator: Kathryn Frank, University of Florida

 

The goal of this project was to examine scientific studies and oral histories of past, current, and future coastal change in Levy County, including the possible impacts of sea-level rise, and engage citizens and decision makers in identifying adaptation strategies. Work to assess coastal change impacts was conducted at the county scale, as well as for the rural coastal towns of Yankeetown, Inglis, and Cedar Key. Center staff were involved assisting with project management, basic GIS analyses, and planning recommendations for the study area.

 

A portion of this project was awarded an APA Student Project Award for Excellence in Small Town and Rural Planning. For more information please see: http://changinglevycoast.org/.

 

Reimagining the Form of Rural Coastal Communities in Response to Sea-level Rise

Principal Investigator: Kathryn Frank, University of Florida

 

The focus of this project was on developing and prioritizing adaptation strategies in response to sea-level rise, in collaboration with local, regional, and state experts, for the small coastal community of Cedar Key. The project built upon previous work conducted at the county scale by University of Florida staff. While adaptation planning initiatives often focus on one concern or discipline, this project sought to integrate strategies from four perspectives: urban design, hazard mitigation, environmental planning, and socio-cultural-economic development.

 

Center staff were involved by providing a basic analysis of potential conservation impacts, priorities, and adaptation strategies at the landscape, natural community, species, and water resource levels. Additional information on this project can be found at http://changinglevycoast.org/.

 

Dynamic Reserve Design in the Face of Climate Change and Urbanization
Principal Investigator: Stephanie Romanach, USGS.


The goal of this project is to combine a structured decision making framework, optimal solution theory, and output from ecological and sociological models that incorporate climate change to provide guidance for design of the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge (EHNWR), using a combination of conservation tools such as fee simple purchase and conservation easements. The Center is assisting by providing information and analysis on potential modifications to ecological connectivity priorities that might influence the overall reserve design. Objectives include identifying specific corridor/connectivity routes and options for maintaining and restoring south to north corridors, major riparian corridors, and cross-watershed connectivity throughout the study area.  Analyses include comparison of existing landscape-scale connectivity priorities with potential impacts from land use/land cover change and assessment of habitat and connectivity priorities for selected focal species under both current and projected future conditions.

 

Adaptation to Sea-level Rise in Florida: Biological Conservation Priorities
Principal Investigators: Tom Hoctor, University of Florida Center for Landscape Conservation Planning; Reed Noss, University of Central Florida; Jon Oetting, Florida Natural Areas Inventory


The goal of this project was to conduct an assessment of the potential impacts of sea-level rise and land-use change in Florida on high priority natural communities and species identified in Florida’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. Such an assessment is necessary for developing conservation strategies, including identification and protection of functional connectivity, which will avoid, minimize, and mitigate anticipated impacts. This work forms the foundation for revising conservation land acquisition priorities, land-use planning and management strategies, and adaptation measures for at-risk species and natural communities to promote resistance and resilience to climate change. The project was jointly funded by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) and the Kresge Foundation.

 

The final report for this project can be found on the Project Downloads page.

 

The Cooperative Conservation Blueprint (CCB)
Principal Investigators: Tom Hoctor, P.I. and Mary Oakley, Co-P.I, University of Florida Center for Landscape Conservation Planning

 

The goal of the Cooperative Conservation Blueprint (CCB) initiative is to collaborate with local, regional and state planners and stakeholders to develop  conservation incentives that assist in implementation of state conservation goals and priorities (as identified by the Critical Lands and Waters Identification Project- CLIP). This includes consideration of social and economic priorities, as well as ecosystem services-related incentives based around land, water, and energy (including renewable energy production). The CCB initiative seeks to develop incentives for natural resources conservation on private lands that will remain in private hands. It is therefore a complement to public land acquisition programs such as Florida Forever.

Following broadly collaborative development work on the CCB at a statewide scale that began in 2006, a CCB Regional Pilot Project was launched in January 2011 in south-central and southwest Florida, in a 13-county area. It was funded by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) through 2012. A primary goal of the regional project was to develop and gain scientist and stakeholder agreement on a sufficient and sustainable “critical lands and waters” ecological reserve network in the pilot region and to promote sustainable agriculture throughout the region.

 

The CCB initiative included the exploration or development of non-regulatory conservation incentives for private rural landowners. Accordingly, the CCB regional project led to a pilot test-phase of a new Payment for Ecosystem Services program, sponsored by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, to compensate landowners for their stewardship of gopher tortoise habitat. The work of the CCB initiative also contributed to the foundation and successful launch of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sponsored Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative (PFLCC) in 2011—a program that funds updates to the CLIP database among other conservation initiatives.

 

We are grateful to the many, many people who participated in the CCB initiative, starting in 2006; most of whom volunteered their time and expertise to the process. We are also grateful to, and were pleased to be a part of, the core team of professional “CCB-ers” who led the efforts in the field or otherwise made the CCB possible: Julie Morris, Kimball Love, Christine Small, Jon Oetting, Jean Scott, along with Thomas Eason and Brian Branciforte of FWC.    

Additional Information:

Northwest Florida Green Infrastructure Project

Principal Investigator: Tom Hoctor, University of Florida Center for Landscape Conservation Planning

 

The Center is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Panama City office and other partners on a GIS database of green infrastructure conservation priorities in the Florida panhandle from the Apalachicola River to the western tip of Florida.  This project is based on adapting methods from the Cooperative Conservation Blueprint Regional Pilot Project, and integrating state and regional conservation GIS data to identify a collective set of region-wide conservation priorities for biodiversity and ecosystem services.  The database is being built with information from CLIP, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The database was completed in May 2013.

 

Babcock Ranch Regional Connectivity Study
Hoctor, T.S. and R.F. Noss. 2009-2010. Babcock Ranch Regional Connectivity Study. Report to Babcock Ranch Wildlife Corridor Steering Committee and Lands Surrounding Babcock Ranch Steering Committee. Kitson Babcock L.L.C., Port Charlotte, FL.


This study assessed the current regional landscape of southwestern Florida in terms of connectivity for three focal species (Florida panther, Florida black bear, and Sherman's fox squirrel), evaluated projected combined impacts of urban development and sea-level rise on landscape connectivity, and proposed several regional-scale wildlife corridors that require further intensive analysis.

 

The final report is available here: Babcock Ranch Regional Connectivity Study


Heartland 2060 Ecological Prioritization
Hoctor, T.S., J. Oetting, and M. O’Brien. 2009-2010. Heartland 2060 Ecological Prioritization.

 

The University of Florida worked with Florida Natural Areas Inventory, The Nature Conservancy, Archbold Biological Station, and the Central Florida Regional Planning Council to identify ecological conservation priorities throughout south-central Florida to support regional visioning (The Heartland 2060 project) and comprehensive conservation and land use planning.  Priorities were identified using a combination of data from the Critical Lands and Waters Identification Project and regional data.

 

The final report is available here: Heartland 2060 Ecological Prioritization


Additional Information:


Southwest Florida Water Management District Conservation Land Acquisition Re-assessment
Hoctor, T.S. 2008-2009. Southwest Florida Water Management District Conservation Land Acquisition Re-assessment. 


The University of Florida worked with the Southwest Florida Water Management District and Wildlands Conservation to develop a new GIS methodology for identifying conservation land acquisition priorities in southwest Florida.  Work included the development of a new GIS model integrating data from the Critical Lands and Waters Identification Project and various regional data to identify conservation priorities including for biodiversity and water resources.


Critical Lands and Waters Identification Project (CLIP) Version 1.0
Hoctor, T.S., J. Oetting, B. Stys, and S. Beyeler. 2006-2008. Critical Lands and Waters Identification Project Version 1.0.


The University of Florida worked with the Florida Natural Areas Inventory, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and a large Technical Advisory Group to identify statewide biodiversity and ecosystem service conservation priorities for the Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The CLIP database is being used to guide conservation and land use planning decisions at the state and regional scales and is currently being updated to create version 2.0. (See links and read more about the latest work on CLIP on the Center's "Current Projects" page)

 

Critical Lands and Waters Identification Project (CLIP) Version 2.0
J. Oetting, T. Hoctor, and B. Stys. 2009-2011. Critical Lands and Waters Identification Project Version 2.0.


The goal of this project was to continue the ongoing maintenance and enhancement of the CLIP database with a significant update. This included updates of the original CLIP data, as well as the addition of Groundwater and Marine Resource Categories. The update also included a preliminary Landscape Context Analysis, an assessment of Ecosystem Services, and evaluations of the relationship between CLIP priorities and Sea Level Rise, Future Development, and Working Landscapes. (See links and read more about the latest work on CLIP on the Center's "Current Projects" page)


Greater Ridge Conservation Planning Tool
Hoctor, T.S. and S. Beyeler. 2007-2008. Greater Ridge Conservation Planning Tool.


The University of Florida worked with The Nature Conservancy and Archbold Biological Station to identify important conservation priority areas and supporting lands and waters needed to maintain the ecological integrity of conservation lands within the Lake Wales Ridge region of central Florida.  Work included development of a GIS database of priority conservation areas, vertebrate species habitat, wildlife corridors, conservation lands buffers, and priority watershed protection areas.

 

Southwest Florida Water Management District Land Use and Management Decision Support System
Principal Investigators: Tom Hoctor, University of Florida Center for Landscape Conservation Planning


The purpose of this project is to develop a GIS Application to assist conservation and land use planning within and near conservation lands owned by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. The application identifies primary and secondary impacts, such as from roads, recreation, and land use changes, using the best available spatial data and information from an extensive literature review.

 

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