Conservation Lands

Land and water are forever linked by Florida’s natural water cycles. Lands surrounding lakes, rivers, wetlands and estuaries serve as natural buffers to filter out pollution before it reaches the nearest water body. Undeveloped land can also allow for water recharge to the aquifer in some areas and water storage during major storm events.

A sunset over Sarasota Bay.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District and other agencies and governments purchase conservation lands to preserve and restore native ecosystems. The lands are open to the public for various family activities that may include hiking, bicycling, hunting, horseback riding, swimming, fishing, camping, nature study, paddling and picnicking. Here are just some of the conservation lands in the watershed for you to explore the beauty and ecology of the Southern Coastal watershed: