HIGHLIGHTING FLORIDA’S GEOHERITAGE THROUGH DEDICATION OF STATE GEOLOGIC SITES
In Florida, the State Geologist has authority to designate state geologic sites that are determined to be of great and continuing significance to the scientific study and public understanding of the geological history of the state. Additional criteria used to choose state geologic sites include public accessibility, educational value, geologic and geoheritage significance, and areas in need of environmental conservation or restoration. Florida currently has four designated state geologic sites that reside within Florida State Parks: Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park, Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park, Florida Caverns State Park and Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park. New state geologic sites are chosen through a process that includes input from geologists at the Florida Geological Survey, other government agencies, and the private sector. Additionally, many of Florida's 175 state parks contain significant geologic features. Designating state geologic sites within Florida's state parks provides opportunities to foster intraagency relationships that help build momentum for the program. As sites are chosen and dedicated, geologic and related cultural information about each site is compiled and provided to the State Park for incorporation into online resources and social media. The process of dedicating state geologic sites in Florida may provide a useful model for other states looking to highlight their geoheritage.