Saving Special Places • Building Better Communities

Escambia / Santa Rosa 2040 Workshop

Escambia and Santa Rosa counties are projected to add tens of thousands of new residents in the next couple of decades. What impact might this surging population growth have on land use and water quality in the two counties? How can the region absorb all these new residents without permanent damage to its quality of life and its environment, including its most vital natural resources: Pensacola and Perdido Bays?

You’re invited to learn more about these critical issues in a presentation at the downtown Pensacola Public Library, 239 N. Spring Street, starting 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 23. Refreshments will be served.

1000 Friends President Paul Owens will share two scenarios for growth and development in 2040 for the two counties, as compiled by experts at the University of Florida’s Center for Landscape Conservation Planning. These scenarios will project the significant differences in impact on land use and water quality if (1) the counties continue to follow their current patterns for growth and development or (2) they grow in more compact, sustainable patterns, and protect high-priority natural and agricultural lands from development. Owens will also share ideas for policies to promote more sustainable development suggested by knowledgeable leaders and planning professionals from Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

After an hour for the presentation and a question and answer period, Christian Wagley, the Pensacola-based Coastal Organizer for Healthy Gulf in Florida and Alabama, will lead a 30-45 minute walking tour from the library to spotlight nearby examples of compact, bay-friendly development.

1000 Friends is Florida’s leading nonprofit, nonpartisan advocate of environmentally and fiscally sustainable development. It undertook this project on protecting water quality and improving communities through better land-use patterns with a generous grant from the Pensacola and Perdido Bays Estuary Program.

Escambia County added about 5.3 square miles, or more than 3,400 acres, of low-intensity development between 1996 and 2016.

During the same period, Santa Rosa County added some 6.5 square miles, or more than 4,000 acres, in that category.

We can prevent urban sprawl. Join us on April 23rd to be part of the movement for a more sustainable future.

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