The Perdido River sweeps us between white sand shoals and steep forested banks as it winds out of longleaf pine uplands down toward the Gulf of Mexico. The waterway is alive; the river’s current thrums beneath us, and the chatter of newly arrived songbirds reverberates from the trees.

For 10 weeks, we’ve been hiking, biking and paddling from the Everglades Headwaters to Gulf Islands National Seashore, proving that it’s feasible to designate and protect a statewide wildlife corridor to ensure the long-term survival of Florida’s unique and endangered fauna, including the Florida panther. And now we’re at the end, with lessons learned and a redoubled sense of what Florida has to gain — and what it has to lose if the Legislature fails to use Amendment 1 money as people intended in overwhelmingly supporting it.

via Perspective: A clear path to saving wild Florida (w/video) | Tampa Bay Times.

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