Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Restoration
Florida is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico and full of lakes, freshwater bays and estuaries, rivers and springs, forested and non-forested wetlands, and the “river of grass” that is the Everglades. Unfortunately, over the last 100 years, approximately 50% of Florida’s aquatic resources have been negatively impacted due to drainage practices, urbanization, flood control, etc. These impacts can also have a negative effect on the fish and wildlife that depend on these aquatic resources.
FWC's Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Restoration (AHCR) Section has the responsibility of restoring, enhancing and managing many of these publicly owned aquatic resources. To achieve this, AHCR has established multi-disciplinary teams throughout the state to help identify and prioritize aquatic resources that have been negatively impacted. Teams are comprised of individuals from governmental and non-governmental entities, conservation groups, stakeholders, and partners who have a vested interest in how these public aquatic resources are managed.
Aquatic restoration and enhancement projects are designed not only to improve habitat conditions, but to ensure the long-term sustainability of fish and wildlife resources that depend on these systems. AHCR is divided up into two subsections, one which primarily deals with freshwater aquatic resources and the other which deals with marine and estuarine resources. Both subsections work collaboratively and coordinate restoration activities when working within the same watershed. The purpose is to provide for more complete restoration by having freshwater activities compliment those activities being conducted in the receiving bays and estuaries.
Please scroll through the revolving banners above to learn more about the workings of these subsections. At the bottom of each subsection’s page, are examples of the types of projects AHCR works on and other resource information links.