Martin County

Saving Special Places • Building Better Communities

Advocating for Martin County

Advocating for Martin County
Jupiter Island Listening Session

1000 Friends of Florida held a listening session in Jupiter Island on May 19, 2021 to hear directly from residents about current growth and development trends in the area. President Paul Owens and Policy and Planning Director Jane West provided updates from the 2021 Florida Legislative Session, as well as preliminary information about proposed developments in Martin County. If you would like to be notified of future sessions, please email Haley Busch at for more information.

Click here for a copy of the presentation, and here for a video link to the recorded discussion. Please note that audience questions were not picked up by the microphone but are summarized in caption form.

Since its inception, 1000 Friends of Florida has been actively involved in promoting smarter growth and protected natural areas in Martin County. Not only does this help enhance the quality of life for residents of the area, but it also protects significant natural lands key to guarding the region’s drinking water and sustaining the iconic Everglades.

Over the years, 1000 Friends has advocated for compatible development in urban areas and the protection of rural lands. 1000 Friends has helped Martin County develop and maintain its award-winning comprehensive plan and urban services boundaries, and ensure that sprawl does not encroach from Palm Beach County to the south. To assist with community visioning, 1000 Friends undertook the Martin County 2070 project discussed below.

To accomplish its goals, 1000 Friends focuses on planning to help guide the location and timing of new development, education to help the public play an active role in shaping the future of their community, and advocacy to ensure that proposed plans and development projects follow the principles of smart growth.

Martin County 2070

Martin County 2010 Base Line
Martin County 2070 trend
Martin County 2070 Alternative

The 2016 study, Florida 2070/Water 2070, reveals that if Florida does not change the way it develops, by 2070 more than a third of Florida’s lands could be paved over, with development-related water demand more than doubling. A more sustainable alternative shows that if Florida follows compact development patterns and increases the amount of land conserved, it will save 1.8 million acres of land from development and conserve an additional 5.8 million acres of natural and agricultural land, while still accommodating the same growth in population. Using more compact development patterns and a modest 20 percent increase in water conservation will reduce water demand by more than a quarter in 2070 but, given many areas of the state are already experiencing water shortages, this is clearly not enough. What are the implications of Florida 2070/Water 2070 for Martin County?

1000 Friends of Florida and The Guardians of Martin County held a day-long workshop, Martin County 2070: Planning Today for a Better Tomorrow, on October 12, 2018. More than 60 planners, developers, conservationists, citizens and other parties convened to address how to create a more sustainable future for Martin County. A follow up workshop, Martin County 2070: What’s Next?, was held on November 28, 2018.

Martin County in 2070

Martin County in 2070

Check out the report, Planning Today for a Better Tomorrow: Martin County in 2070, the presentations given during the two workshops, and the final report, Martin County 2070: What’s Next?

These events were sponsored by the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties and the Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation.

Martin County 2070: Planning Today for a Better Tomorrow

Presentations from the October 12, 2018 workshop:

Martin County 2070: An Overview
What are the findings of Florida 2070/Water 2070 and what are the implications for land development and water demand in Martin County? Check out the Martin County 2070 Handout. See Maggy Hurchalla’s comments on Martin County 2070. 


Paul Owens, 1000 Friends of Florida, President

Conservation and environmental crises
What are the causes and the extent of the environmental crises in Martin County and the Indian River Lagoon? What efforts are meeting these challenges?

Clay Henderson, Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience, Executive Director

John Maehl, Martin County, Ecosystem Restoration and Management Manager

Wayne A. Mills, Ocean Research & Conservation Association, Inc., Chairman

Planning for change
The only constant we can count on is change. From sea level rise and climate change to changing preferences of residents, planning needs to respond to evolving public needs. This panel will discuss community engagement strategies for community planning, legal tools to address climate change, and future agricultural practices.

Marcela Camblor, Marcela Camblor & Associates, Inc., Principal

Erin Deady, Erin L. Deady, P.A., Attorney and Principal

Gary Ritter, Florida Farm Bureau Federation, Assistant Director of Government and Community Affairs

Martin County 2070: What is in the Plans?
What are Martin County’s current long-range land use, water resource and transportation plans and can they be adapted to promote greater sustainability?

Nicki van Vonno, Martin County, Director of Growth Management Department

Sam Amerson, Martin County, Director of Utilities & Solid Waste

Terry Rauth, Martin County, Director of the Public Works Department

Growing inward
Environmental challenges force us to think critically about how our communities grow and change. Infill development and urban redevelopment are ways to grow without invoking some of the environmental challenges posed by other development types. What are the challenges and opportunities of growing in our already developed areas?

Kev Freeman, City of Stuart, City Development Director

Tim Hernandez, New Urban Communities, Principal

Thomas Hawkins, 1000 Friends of Florida, Policy and Planning Director

Where do we go from here? A Facilitated Discussion
What have we learned from today’s panels about the long-term challenges from growth facing Martin County’s environment, economy, and quality of life? What additional information, and additional resources, do we need to lay the groundwork for better policies and programs? What can we do to educate county residents and galvanize elected officials to respond?

Martin County 2070: What’s Next?

1000 Friends of Florida and The Guardians of Martin County co-hosted the evening workshop, Martin County 2070: What’s Next?, on Wednesday, November 28, 2018. We thank Tom Lanahan and Kim Delaney of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council for facilitating this event. Here are links to the PowerPoint presentations and final report:

Martin County 2070: What’s Next?, 1000 Friends of Florida President Paul Owens

Effective Citizen Engagement, 1000 Friends of Florida Planning and Policy Director Thomas Hawkins

Martin County 2070: What’s Next? Report