Concerned citizens, land owners, community and civic associations, and government agencies can nominate sites for the Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP). The purpose for environmental lands is for the conservation and protection of environmentally unique, irreplaceable and valued ecological resources. We will open all lands chosen for the program to public use and enjoyment, as long as we find such use is compatible with the conservation and protection of these lands.
There is no fee or obligation associated with the nomination.
Each environmental lands project shall be qualified by satisfying one or more of the following criteria:
- Land containing native, relatively unaltered flora and fauna, including wetlands, uplands and transitional systems, representing a natural habitat unique to, or scarce within the State of Florida or Hillsborough County
- Land that provides or could provide a habitat important to the support or protection of state or federally listed species
- Land containing an unusual, outstanding, or unique geologic feature.
- Land which plays a vital role in the enhancement and protection of water quality and quantity, including ground water resources, or which provides protection for fish and wildlife habitat but which cannot be adequately protected through local, state, and federal regulatory programs.
- Land that provides valuable access, urban/rural land links, protection zones, or additions to existing environmentally sensitive lands or which forms part of a natural greenway system which functions as a habitat corridor associated with such lands, and which is essential for protection and management of those environmentally sensitive lands
- Land containing significant archaeological sites
- Provided their qualifying criteria remains consistent with ELAPP, any project which has been approved to receive at least fifty percent acquisition funding through a Florida Forever or related preservation program such as:
- Southwest Florida Water Management District / Save our Rivers
- State Conservation and Recreation Lands Program
- Florida Communities Trust or Greenways and Trails Program