Environmental Issues in Florida

On Saturday, people around the world will literally be joining hands in a sign of solidarity to protect the planet's oceans.

"Hands Across The Sand" will happen in South Florida, too, as locals connect to form a line across our shorlines, demonstrating against offshore drilling and pushing for cleaner enery.

However, with such a diverse ecosystem and wildlife throughout the state, offshore drilling is just one of many threats to Florida's environment. Matt Schwartz, executive director of the South Florida Wildlands Association, compiled a list of other crucial environmental issues facing South Florida.

"If we’re not going to have an ecosystem, we’re not going to have an economy, and we’ve gotten away with it for a long time, " said Schwartz, who will participating at Hands Across The Sand in Fort Lauderdale. "We’re not going to get away with it for much longer."

See what 10 threats South Florida should be worried about, according to the South Florida Wildlands Association:

10 Challenges Facing South Florida's Environment

1. Public Lands

In 2005, National Geographic ranked the Florida Everglades/Big Cypress National Preserve as the worst preserved national park in North America. Though it is protected land, urban sprawl is pressed right up against wildlife habitat and motorized watercraft chop up seagrass, especially in shallower bodies of water like the Florida Bay. "These public lands should get all of the protection that they can get. Wildlife, they're the last consideration. More than anything, these national parks were established not for recreation but to protect these valuable resources that we have, " Schwartz said.

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