(1) Duval County is experiencing rapid growth, jeopardizing the area’s long-term ecological health. Threats include residential and commercial runoff, development on large tracts of forestland, increased population and growth in industry and agriculture. To address the area’s conservation needs, the city of
Jacksonville implemented the Preservation Project, which resulted in the protection of more than 50,000 conservation acres. With this great accomplishment came the challenge of managing the lands under different ownerships. As part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, the Islands Initiative faces specific challenges that range from overlapping boundaries with public and private entities to inappropriate land use encroachments and lack of clarity on submerged land ownership.
(2) In 1999, the National Park Service, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the city of Jacksonville entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on multiple levels to protect this valuable resource. A product of this agreement was the creation of the Timucuan Trail State and National Parks partnership. As part of the largest park system in the nation this partnership provided a model for additional opportunities for collaboration.