The National Wildlife Federation

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Florida Floodplains

The National Wildlife Federation and our affiliate, Florida Wildlife Federation, have won ground-breaking Endangered Species Act victories to protect coastal habitats throughout the Florida Keys.

Protecting Florida's Key Deer and Sea Turtles from Development

The National Wildlife Federation's first case, Key Deer v. FEMA, successfully challenged FEMA's administration of flood insurance in endangered species habitat throughout the Florida Keys.

National Wildlife Federation has worked to protect the Key deer since 1951, when only about 25 of the animals remained.

Today, the National Wildlife Federation continues to take action to ensure a safe future for the Key deer and its habitat through the courts and education. Fewer than 1,000 Key deer currently survive, and their future remains precarious.

Sea Turtles and Floodplain Development

In 2009, National Wildlife Federation and Florida Wildlife Federation filed a lawsuit against FEMA for failing to protect endangered sea turtles from the impacts of its National Flood Insurance Program, which promotes development in critical sea turtle habitat.

Ninety percent of all sea turtle nesting in the U.S. takes place on Florida's beaches, including loggerhead, green, hawksbill and leatherbacks.

Coastal development on dunes of eroding beaches can significantly impact sea turtles by interfering with nesting and hatchlings.

"In addition to providing essential wildlife habitat, these coastal areas work as buffers against storm surges up and down the Florida coast," said John Kostyack, the National Wildlife Federation's Vice President of Wildlife Conservation. "By allowing houses and business to be built in flood prone areas, the Federal Flood Insurance Program is subsidizing the destruction of sea turtle habitat, putting people at risk and wasting our tax dollars."

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