Land Use & Sustainability
Unsustainable land use practices continue to be a major threat to the environment.
A recent study finds that if Florida maintains its current development pace, roughly 7 million acres will be converted to urban use by 2060. Of these lands, 2.6 million acres of native habitat, an area the size of Vermont will be lost.
ELC utilizes litigation and advocacy to advance sustainable land use and protect the greater Everglades ecosystem. Our work seeks to increase the connectivity of Lake Okeechobee to the Southern Everglades by challenging incompatible uses in the Everglades Agricultural Area (such as mining and intense industrial development), challenging major developments that threaten water quality and wildlife habitat in the Kissimmee River basin, and challenging land uses and land use changes that would serve as obstacles to implementation of Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) projects. We advocate for innovative and effective use of regulatory tools to reduce pollution, protect the Everglades ecosystems and advance restoration.
We vigorously oppose attempts by local governments to weaken their land use regulations and move their urban service boundaries. We support local governments seeking to improve their land management programs and oversight practices to minimize water pollution and protect community health. We seek to hold local governments accountable that fail to comply with critical water quality and stormwater management laws.