Florida Forever Program
Florida Forever Program is a Florida land acquisition program created to preserve and conserve the state's unique natural resources. In 2000, the Florida Forever Program replaced the state's highly successful 10-year Preservation 2000 program (the largest program of its kind in the United States) established by the Florida Legislature.
In 1998 the Florida voters amended the state constitution and re-authorized bonds for land acquisition. Under the Florida Forever Program, the state issues bonds for $3 billion annually and distributes about $300 million to various agencies – the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Community Affairs, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the state's five Water Management Districts.
The funds are used for land acquisition, environmental restoration and water resource development. Under the Florida Forever Programs lands are only acquired from willing sellers. Within St. Johns County there are two DEP approved blueway projects; the Northeast Florida Blueway Phase II and the St. Johns River Blueway.
St. Johns County’s Blueway projects (St. Johns River Blueway and Northeast Florida Blueway) were ranked as top tier projects by ARC on December 14, 2007. This means they will remain eligible for the remaining $25M in the Florida Forever funding cycle. Additionally, the FDEP will continue their efforts on the Meldrim Conservation Easement (~5,500 ac).