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After several months of diligent work, USF Library Digital Scholarship Services unveiled the Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP) Oral History Collection on Thursday October 12th, 2017. This collection features audio interviews and transcripts from many of the founders, partners, and members of the program, including former Hillsborough County Commissioner Jan K. Platt herself, after whom the project is named. Within the 12 available records, some of the interviewees talk about their experiences growing up in Tampa Bay, their elation after getting funding for the project, their struggles with ongoing funding, and their development and zoning issues.

ELAPP focuses on protecting endangered and environmentally-sensitive lands, such as our important wetlands and swamps, which would often otherwise be zoned commercial and developed. Without ELAPP’s conservation efforts over the last 30 years, more than 61,000 acres of wildlife habitat would be threatened with sale and development. This program has been crucial for our native Florida wildlife and the balance of our local ecosystem, and we hope this Oral History Collection conveys that importance. By preserving this collection digitally open access on the internet, the Oral History team in Digital Scholarship Services have partnered with ELAPP to produce a valuable primary resource that can be used in a variety of research fields, such as Environmental Sciences or Urban Planning and Development.

To view this collection, you can go to http://digital.lib.usf.edu/ohp-elapp/ and browse the interviews.

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