The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is getting a federal grant to step up protection efforts for some of the state's threatened and endangered species.
The Commission wants to use the $370 million federal grant to target the gopher tortoise, Florida panther and Florida grasshopper sparrow.
The FWC project will help manage wildlife in Polk, Osceola, Okeechobee, Highlands, Hardee, Desoto and Glades counties. FWC Executive Director Nick Wiley says Florida wildlife is one of the biggest economic engines in the state.
“It’s part of the tourist industry. And so, just being able to have something for people to enjoy and not losing that diversity is really important. Beyond that, just keeping our lands productive and healthy and taking good care of those lands," Wiley says.
FWC will be working with private land owners to restore dwindling habitats. The project is one of more than 110 in the nation that has received funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Volunteering opportunities for the public to get involved can be found at myfwc.com.