Current Projects

 

The Florida Wildlife Corridor Project

 

The Center is working with the Conservation Trust for Florida (CTF) and the Legacy Institute for Nature and Culture (LINC) on an education and outreach campaign highlighting the significant and pressing opportunity to protect wildlife corridors across the state of Florida.  The Florida Wildlife Corridor promotes the vision of an ecologically-connected network of public and private conservation lands eventually created throughout Florida, which was conceived of by Carlton Ward from LINC and developed in collaboration with Tom Hoctor. The Florida Wildlife Corridor project was developed to educate and advocate for the protection of the Florida Ecological Greenways Network, and specifically the Critical Linkages from south Florida to Georgia, though the other Critical Linkages from west-central Florida through the Florida panhandle might be added to these efforts in the future. 

 

In 2012, after two years in planning, the project debuted in the form of a 1000-mile, 100 day expedition from Florida Bay in Everglades National Park up the peninsula to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Georgia. The trek was carried out by 4 Florida-based conservationists: photojournalist Carlton Ward, Jr., biologist Joe Guthrie, nature filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus, and conservationist Mallory Lykes Dimmitt.  A film about the expedition by Elam Stoltzfus was aired on PBS in April 2013 in Florida and in June 2013 nationally.  For more information, go to http://www.floridawildlifecorridor.org/.

 

Predicting and Mitigating the Effects of Sea-Level Rise and Land Use Change on Imperiled Species and Natural Communities in Florida
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 is 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 will form 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 is jointly funded by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) and the Kresge Foundation.

 

Additional information, including current updates and downloads may be found on our Project Downloads page.

 

Critical Lands and Waters Identification Project (CLIP)
Principal Investigators: Tom Hoctor, University of Florida Center for Landscape Conservation Planning; Jon Oetting, Florida Natural Areas Inventory


The goal of CLIP is to identify Florida’s critical environmental resources, including strategic habitat, biodiversity hotspots, aquifer recharge areas and ecological greenways, using the best available science and statewide spatial data and to develop an iterative GIS database as a decision making tool for statewide and regional conservation and land use planning. This work is essential for ensuring the sustainability of Florida’s green infrastructure and vital ecosystem services as Florida’s population grows and land uses change. By identifying critical conservation needs, they can be incorporated into long term land use and conservation plans.


The original version of this project is CLIP Version 1.0. A detailed report on the development of CLIP Version 1.0 is available here: CLIP Report 1.0

 

An update and expansion of the CLIP database was completed in 2011, which is CLIP Version 2.0. The report and associated data are available here:

CLIP Version 2.0

 

CLIP 3.0 was completed in 2014 and is available from the Florida Natural Areas Inventory website here. Additional updates are currently underway to individual data layers, including water restoration analyses, updates to ecological greenways layers, and a more detailed assessment of potential revisions to CLIP data layers based on sea level rise and climate change related impacts.

 

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 is to assist in planning for sea-level rise within the Matanzas basin via a series of science based community and stakeholder workshops, and to provide a template for future similar work in other locations. The workshops are based on data produced by a science team including future land use change scenarios, storm surge models, Sea Level Affecting Marshes Models (SLAMM), and natural community and species impact assessments at the landscape and natural community scale. Additional information can be found on the project website here: http://planningmatanzas.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.

 

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