Protect and restore the natural resources upon which life depends
When used in the context of sustainability, the environment includes the lands and natural resources that we rely upon for continued survival and the ability to thrive as human beings. Without agricultural lands, how would we grow our food? If we pollute our air and water through improper disposal of waste, how do we continue to survive? The environment, economy and social equity are the three tenets of sustainability, and without proper resource planning, all three of these are jeopardized. Water, air, and natural systems must be sustained for the viability of current and future Southwest Floridians. Even the perception of vulnerability or damage to our natural resources can have negative impacts on our economy.
Continued careful management of environmental resources is crucial for sustainability. As our population continues to grow, a more integrated approach to the design and maintenance of water, stormwater, and wastewater systems will lessen impacts on our natural systems through the reduction of pollution and energy consumption, and protection and restoration of ecological systems. More efficient use of our resources will help protect our sensitive ecosystems and allow us to grow our agricultural economy. Whether it is recycling or energy use reduction, it is important to be stewards of our resources so they continue to exist for future generations.