For Immediate Release, August 11, 2020

Contact:

Sarah Gledhill, Center for Biological Diversity, (904) 347-6490, sgledhill@biologicaldiversity.org
Michael Roth, Our Santa Fe River, (352) 316-4705, Michael.roth@oursantaferiver.org

Alachua County Says No to Florida Plan for Huge Toll Roads

GAINESVILLE, Fla.— The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously today to oppose a plan to build new toll roads through some of Florida’s last wild places.

The state’s Multi-Use Corridors of Regional Significance (M-CORES) would construct 330 miles of new tolls roads through rural and wild Florida from Collier County north to the Georgia state line.

“Alachua County is showing bold leadership by opposing this destructive boondoggle, which could be a death blow to iconic species like the Florida panther,” said Sarah Gledhill, a Florida-based senior campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. “By standing up to special interests, these elected officials sided with the hundreds of Alachuans who spoke out in favor of protecting our environment and rural communities from being paved over.”

“We are so glad to see the Alachua County commissioners move to protect their citizens from a gross state overreach with their M-CORES ‘no build’ resolution,” said Michael Roth of Our Santa Fe River. “The Suncoast Connector is a major threat to flora and fauna throughout the region and a threat to the rural lifestyle. It is an economic and environmental boondoggle that is rationalized to the paying public on the most specious and arguable grounds. We hope other counties in the region follow suit.”

The planned toll roads and the sprawl that comes with them would threaten some of Florida’s most imperiled animals. Species like the Florida panther, Florida black bear and Florida bonneted bat rely on critical linkages of natural habitat that haven’t been dissected by new roads or the ultimate suburban sprawl. Even existing conservation areas like the Green Swamp, the Suwannee River and Big Cypress are under threat from the plan’s direct and secondary impacts. Loss of habitat and vehicle collisions are leading causes of wildlife decline.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.