Mission: WFI, founded in 2002, grew out of the need to provide support for the protection and management of publicly owned lands which had been acquired to preserve unique environmental resources. In the State of Florida, and the Tampa Bay region in particular, hundreds of thousands of acres of environmentally sensitive lands have been purchased over the past two decades. It has become increasingly apparent that public ownership alone is not enough to ensure that the habitat, wildlife and other natural resources are adequately protected. Public agencies are under-staffed and inadequately funded to carry out their mission in the area of preserve lands management. WFI exists to lessen the burden of government by providing direct support to these agencies through public education, volunteer coordination, project management, and advocacy.