Sanibel, Florida: The Nature and Biodiversity Protection Program

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The City of Sanibel is a 12 mile long island (12,000 acres) with ecosystems ranges from coastal beaches, dunes, upland ridges to freshwater wetland to mangrove swamps off the in the Gulf of Mexico (Duerksen & Snyder, 2005). This small community cherishes its cultural, social, ecological, and economic diversity. Their permanent population of 6,000 residents choose to live in harmony with nature; creating a human settlement distinguished by its diversity, beauty, uniqueness, character, and stewardship. Sanibel has become know as the most effective and progressive nature and biodiversity protection program in the U.S.
Sanibel Island, Florida, is home to a landmark wildlife habitat protection program that is as groundbreaking today as it was when conceived back in the 1970s. Back in the 1070s, habitat protection has become part of the culture of the island and a way of life (Duerksen & Snyder, 2005). In that time the citizens of Sanibel adopted a Comprehensive Land Use Plan, believing that future development on Sanibel could minimize human impact and occur in an orderly and planned way to preserve the unique and natural characteristics of the Island (The Committee of the City of Sanibel, 2009). The Comprehensive Land Use Plan designated six distinct ecological zones and densities based on the environmental attributes. For each ecological zone, the report identified the local climate, geology, subsurface and surface hydrology, soils, vegetation, wildlife, functions, and elements…

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