(FDACS/Tallahassee, FL/August 23, 2002) — The Florida Cabinet voted to approve several priority projects of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). The projects, agenda items #10-20, introduced by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, include the acquisition of additional lands to bolster existing Florida Forever projects managed by the Florida Forest Service; additional aquaculture leases and expansions of Levy County operations licensed by FDACS Division of Aquaculture; and new conservation easements in Highlands County for Rural and Family Lands Protection Program projects. The Rural and Family Lands Protection Program is administered by the Florida Forest Service, a division of FDACS.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, an independently-elected member of the Florida Cabinet, released the following statement on the approval of the projects:
“With agriculture and tourism driving Florida’s economy, I was pleased to see the Cabinet approve several important FDACS projects to support our aquaculture industry and move critical conservation efforts forward. This included two land acquisitions and two conservation easements that will be managed by FDACS and our Florida Forest Service. The Rural and Family Lands Protection Program has been one of my top priorities throughout my administration, and it is conservation projects like these that will ultimately protect Florida’s natural lands and environment for generations to come. Additionally, the aquaculture expansions approved in Levy County will greatly benefit the local economy as well as keep our aquaculture and larger agriculture industry growing.”
A copy of the Cabinet meeting agenda with more information about the FDACS projects can be found here[ ].