The Big Cypress Area of Critical State Concern includes portions of Collier, Mainland Monroe, and Miami-Dade Counties was designated by the Florida Legislature Big Cypress Conservation Act of 1973 and Section 380.055, Florida Statutes. The area is approximately 860,000 acres of which 729,000 acres are in the Big Cypress National Preserve. The purpose for designation was to "conserve and protect the natural, environmental and economic resources and the scenic beauty of the Big Cypress Area, including the proposed Federal Big Cypress National Fresh Water Reserve, the Everglades National Park, and ecologically related wetlands, estuarine fisheries, and the fresh water aquifer, and ecologically related areas." (Rule 28-25.002, Florida Administrative Code)

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