Matching Grants Attract More Than $1M For Florida Conservation Amendment Campaign

Oct 9, 2014

Money set aside by Amendment One could be used for a variety of environmental protections including Everglades restoration, conservation land purchases and easements for private landowners.
Credit Rasmus Bøgeskov Larsen via Flickr

Supporters of Florida’s proposed land-conservation amendment have gotten a fundraising boost from two matching grant programs. The Yes on 1 campaign, known as Florida's Land and Water Legacy, took in nearly $1.2 million in one week.

During the week ending Oct. 7, more than 800 people donated to Florida’s Water and Land Legacy. The nonprofit Florida Wildlife Federation offered 50 cents for every dollar donated, and an individual donor gave $1  for each dollar. Campaign manager Will Abberger says the support came at a just the right time.

“All of our volunteers and campaign staff, campaign committee, everyone, was getting kind of tired, and this challenge grant really just reenergized our whole campaign," he says. "It’s really exciting to watch.”

Florida Wildlife Federation President and CEO Manley Fuller adds, "I think the matches broke the log jam. We’d had some great supporters all along. But there was a certain degree, a sense of inevitability that we would prevail. And it would be a tragedy to wake up and have, you know, 59.9 percent, we lose.”

Amendment One would earmark a percent of tax revenue from real estate transactions for environmental conservation and restoration. But opponents, including the Tampa Bay Times, have argued the state’s changing priorities are best funded through the legislative process and budgeting doesn’t belong in the rigid state constitution.