Panama City Ecological Services / Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office
Conserving the Nature of America
 

 


 
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Participants and Project History

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Participants

The GreenLinks initiative was a collaborative effort aimed at protecting landscape-level ecological function in a manner compatible with transportation infrastructure planning. A strong focus was water resource protection and habitat connectivity for wildlife. It was funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and developed by a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) that included a diverse partnership of state and federal agencies, and academic institutions. The TAG had representatives from:

• Florida Department of Transportation
• Florida Forest Service
• Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
• Florida Natural Areas Inventory

 

• National Marine Fisheries Service
• University of Florida
• U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
• U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


GreenLinks team collaboration
  GreenLinks team collaboration
Credit: Paul Lang
   


Project History

Road infrastructure and other development can have adverse effects on species and the ecosystems on which they depend. Aware that traditional methods to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts often does little to promote bigger picture environmental sustainability, in 2006 eight Federal agencies co-wrote Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects. This guide sets a framework for making infrastructure more sensitive to native ecosystems. It promotes interagency cooperation, early coordination, streamlining, and integrated planning, while maintaining safety, a healthy environment, and meeting public needs.

To integrate the principles of Eco-logical into regional transportation planning, the Panama City Field Office received funding to hold a local course in Strategic Conservation Planning Using a Green Infrastructure Approach in 2010. This training was well-attended, and set the stage for partners to participate in a green infrastructure planning effort. Green infrastructure planning is also a tool to implement Strategic Conservation Planning, a national Service initiative that focuses on a landscape approach toward conservation and strong partnerships.

In 2011, the Service contracted with Dr. Tom Hoctor from the University of Florida’s Center for Landscape Conservation Planning, to work with our technical advisory group to develop three products: a regional Conservation Lands and Waters Identification Project (CLIP) for the 10 Florida counties west of the Apalachicola River; a Regional Ecological Network; and an Overlay Model that identified a conservation corridor strategically linked to provide connectivity. The final product was completed during the summer of 2013 and is available for use.




 

 

 

 

Last updated: March 4, 2014