Valuing our Region’s Environment

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By Sara E. Fain

You don’t need to be a swamp dweller to know that Southeast Florida’s economy depends on a healthy environment. Multiple studies show that for every public dollar invested in our environment, many more dollars are generated for the local economy.

This region is home to 3 national parks, a national marine sanctuary, 7 national wildlife refuges, 23 state parks, and multiple county and city parks. Southeast Florida has invested in its natural areas in recognition of their importance to our economic prosperity and quality of life. The region’s two largest industries, tourism and agriculture, couldn’t exist without protecting and preserving our environment.

If we hope to increase the economic prosperity and quality of life that draws people to southeast Florida, we must make sure our growth patterns are sustainable.

As the Seven50 Blueprint seeks to ensure a more prosperous and desirable region, protecting our natural resources must be paramount. The Blueprint can guide us towards developing existing communities with a strong sense of place, including our proximity to the Everglades, while still having ample open space and viable agricultural lands.

With support from our local and regional leaders, we can shift from a fragmented and congested region to a connected one. The region must implement a variety of functional transportation choices that move away from the failed policy of more road expansions. Local governments must work together to address and minimize the impacts from sea level rise and increased weather events.

Using Seven50’s Blueprint to truly value our Region’s environment will ultimately create economic prosperity.

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