Maintain and Conserve Ecosystems and their Biodiversity
Located in the subtopics and on the edge of the Florida Everglades, Florida International University has incorporated environmental stewardship into daily university life since first opening its doors in 1972. In fact, the environment was a major focus for FIU’s founders:
There is widespread belief that man's rapid alteration of his biological environment not only affects the quality of his life today but also threatens his long-term survival unless it is monitored far more closely. Continuing emphasis must be placed on restoring and maintaining a balance in our ecological system.
Since the first Campus Master Plan in 1986, FIU has included a Conservation Element or similar consideration for responsible planning and construction to maintain natural ecosystems and the plants and animals they support.
FIU maintains populations of 13 plant species and 5 animal species listed as near threatened, vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered on the IUCN Red List. Currently, more than 130 plant species and 77 animal species found on campus are tracked by the IUCN.
Among many local initiatives, FIU leads the longest-running National Science Foundation-supported research and data-collection program focused on the Florida Everglades. This network of universities, government agencies and other partners has led to groundbreaking research and key discoveries to restore this iconic and imperiled ecosystem including its biodiversity.
FIU also features an 11-acre Nature Preserve for environmental education. Three distinct ecosystems within the preserve provide habitat for 13 endangered and 15 threatened plant species, along with 238 other plants and animals that call our preserve home. There is also an organic fruit and vegetable garden that attracts people and pollinators alike.