Land Conservation Vital to Safeguarding Fishable, Swimmable, Drinkable Water

The Giving Coast

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast is delighted to announce their 20th Anniversary January spotlight, Safeguarding Our Water. As they celebrate twenty years of conservation and community, each month the not-for-profit land trust is spotlighting a different aspect of their work and the corresponding community impact. This 20th Anniversary spotlight series is generously sponsored by Elizabeth Moore. Land conservation is essential to protecting water quality because what happens on the land directly impacts the quality of the water flowing through and from it. In natural areas, such as marshes, prairies, grasslands, and forests, rainfall soaks into the soil, where it is naturally cleaned and stored. In more urban and industrial areas with pavement and buildings, instead of soaking into the soil, water flows directly over the pavement into gutters, ditches, and drains. “When humans pave over natural areas, the land cannot filter or store water, and instead, that water is forced through our cities and towns,” comments Christine P. Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation. “Not only does this increase our community’s flood risk, but it also means everything the water picks up on its way through town – pollution, fertilizers, etc. – ends up dumping directly into our rivers, bays, and ultimately the Gulf. When we conserve land, we’re also protecting that land’s ability to store and clean water for generations to come.” Whether it’s red tide, toxic algae, or a myriad of other water woes, Floridians are all too familiar with what happens when excess nutrients and pollution find their way into local waters. The wetlands, marshes, forests, and farmlands Conservation Foundation protects naturally clean contaminants from the water they store. This decreases our flood risk and reduces the amount of pollution that ends up in Southwest Florida’s water bodies, thereby safeguarding fishable, swimmable, and drinkable water throughout our region. To learn more about how Conservation Foundation is safeguarding water, visit conservationfoundation.com/januaryspotlight.

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