Florida Native Plant Society
UPDATE - Good News
The Central Florida Sand Mine Association has withdrawn their application for a major change to the Lake County comprehensive growth plan. The requested change would have allowed all 6,693 acres of land owned by 5 sand mine companies to be mined and “reclaimed” (not restored) without the current “open space” requirement. Thanks to everyone who contacted commissioners to express an opinion on this proposed amendment.
THE GREEN SWAMP – The Liquid Heart of Florida
Why is the Green Swamp important?
In the southwest corner of Lake County is the Green Swamp, which extends into Sumter, Hernando, Pasco, and Polk counties. This is an area of hydrological and ecological importance to our county and the state. The Green Swamp provides flood protection, is the source for four rivers, and feeds into the Gulf of Mexico. The dry sandy soil of the Green Swamp’s uplands areas filters much of our drinking water (our source for drinking water whether it comes from a utility or a pump) and recharges the Florida Aquifer.
The Green Swamp also contains areas of relatively undisturbed native habitat that is home to a wide diversity of native plant life and provides critical habitat for a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, invertebrates and amphibians.
Because of its natural resources, biodiversity, wildlife, and the important water quantity/quality functions it provides, the state designated the Green Swamp” as an “Area of Critical State Concern” in 1974. Even with this heightened state of concern and the acquisition of land for conservation, large portions of the Green Swamp are still under threat of development or commercial exploitation because they remain privately owned.
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