Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014
Out and about

DEP launches website to improve access to outdoors


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TALLAHASSEE — Florida is home to a variety of diverse outdoor activities and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is excited to announce the launch of “Discover Florida Wild,” a web portal allowing residents and visitors to explore a variety of outdoor activities offered by the state all in one place.

“This is a great way to encourage more Florida residents to enjoy the natural resources we work so hard to protect here in the state of Florida,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. “Many state agencies offer unique recreational opportunities and partnering to create a website that helps connect the dots to make enjoying them easier for residents just makes sense.”

From hunting and fishing, to picnicking and beachgoing, the “Discover Florida Wild” gateway makes finding outdoor adventures easier than ever. Viewers can plan an adventure into the Everglades, explore the notion of camping at a state park or learn more about visiting one of three National Estuarine Research Reserves. The portal allows visitors to link to state agencies managing more than 700 natural springs, 825 miles of beaches and 10,000 miles of hiking, paddling, equestrian and biking trails.

“This new web portal provides a great starting place for people to plan their outdoor adventures on Florida’s public lands and waters,” said FWC Executive Director Nick Wiley. “Florida has a wide range of wild places just waiting for you and your family to explore and enjoy.”

Recreation managers represented on the site include the department’s Florida State Parks, Florida Coastal Office and five Florida Water Management Districts, as well as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Forest Service, a Division of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

“Florida’s state forests provide one million acres of recreation, from hiking and horseback riding to boating and geocaching,” said State Forester Jim Karels, director of the Florida Forest Service. “We are proud to be a part of this partnership that allows everyone in Florida to find an activity just right for them all on one great website.”

Visit Florida, which markets the state for tourism, partnered with the agencies to design and host the portal on its site.

To plan your next adventure and enjoy more of Florida’s natural resources, check out www.discoverfloridawild.com.

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