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You can help influence our decision makers to make the right choices to protect our unique natural environment and quality of life. Here are several ways you can take action and let your voice be heard:
1. Sign up to receive Action Alerts via email so you can take action instantly.
2. Find out about the current critical issues facing Southwest Florida and what actions you can take to influence decision makers in the Legislative Action Center. It only takes a few minutes to make a big difference!
3. You can also read through several present and past Policy Action Alerts below for more detail on the issues.
Policy Action Alerts
April 23, 2013
Support Local Communities Being Able to Protect their Waters!
(Please note that this might come up for a vote as early as tomorrow, so please take action today!)
The state legislature is proposing to limit local governments’ ability to enact sensible fertilizer restrictions for preventing water pollution. Pushed by the fertilizer and lawn care industries, the "Raburn Amendment" to HB 999 would create a "Florida Fertilizer Regulatory Review Council" whose representation is biased towards industry, and whose directive is to favor "consistency" for regulating fertilizer pollution – threatening to pre-empt local governments from enacting fertilizer restrictions appropriate for their specific regional conditions.
Fertilizer restrictions have proven to be one of the cheapest and most effective means to protecting our waters from harmful algae outbreaks and fish kills. The state recently credited Lee County $13 million in clean-up costs for the Caloosahatchee River for having one. Hampering local governments from enacting fertilizer restrictions appropriate for their waters will result in millions of even billions of dollar of additional clean-up costs for local municipalities and taxpayers to bear.
Local governments should also always be able to enact more stringent regulations to protect their communities where they see fit. This amendment is undermining that "home rule" authority. Go here for full alert and take action today!
Don’t Let Special Interests Have Their Way!
The US EPA and Florida DEP have struck a deal to turn pollution regulation over to the Florida DEP — and special interests. We need to let them know Florida residents do not want this.
Sewage, fertilizer, and animal manure pollution cause big problems in Florida’s waters. Please send a message to your state senator and state representative urging them to oppose HB 7115 and SB 1808. Click here.
Save the Western Everglades: Time is of the Essence!
On January 8th the Collier County Commissioners will consider a motion from Commissioner Tim Nance. His motion will ask the County to consider suspending its amendments to the rural land stewardship area (RLSA). Support Commissioner Nance’s motion "to delay the amendment package indefinitely."
Details regarding the entire issue are available here.
Protect Clean Water for Florida!
After years in battle – and just hours before a court-ordered deadline – Conservancy of Southwest Florida, our partners and the people of Florida won a partial victory for clean water.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed standards for nutrient pollution for all waters in Florida intended for drinking, swimming or fishing, covering 85 percent of the state including most of the waters in southwest Florida.
At first glance, this looks like a victory. But look more closely and you will see two major problems:
1. For 15 percent of the waters in the state, EPA has approved Florida’s weak, meaningless nutrient pollution water quality standards.
2. The EPA indicated it would withdraw the stronger standards for the other 85 percent of waters throughout the state if the Florida DEP proposes standards for those waters, including most of the waters in southwest Florida. If they do, then EPA’s meaningful protection for our waters would be replaced by Florida’s meaningless ones.
In 2008, a lawsuit was filed by the Conservancy, Florida Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida, and St. Johns Riverkeeper asserting that Florida needed numeric limits on nutrient pollution to deal with the burgeoning algae, slime and public health problems. We believe the EPA has a duty to set those limits because the state of Florida had not.
Conservancy members and tens of thousands of people across Florida contacted the EPA, members of Congress and President Obama to demand our government uphold Clean Water Act standards.
Our work is not done. PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW.
Read full action alert here.
TELL OBAMA: REJECT FLORIDA’S DIRTY WATER RULES
Florida’s waters are being poisoned and we need to keep EPA guidelines and Clean Water Act rules in place. The industry-friendly Florida Department of Environmental Protection has drafted a substitute for EPA’s rules that would only require pollution control AFTER waters have been severely degraded, requiring expensive clean-up at taxpayer expense. So-called “nutrient pollution” – excess nitrogen and phosphorous in our waters – has reached dangerously high levels, triggering toxic outbreaks of algae and bacteria. The State’s proposed standards will allow unsafe pollution levels and we must uphold the pollution regulations set by the US EPA under the Clean Water Act. Dirty. Our economy, tourism, recreational fishing and real estate values are all at risk. Let President Obama know NOW that Florida deserves better and we want CLEAN WATER.
TAKE ACTION TODAY: CORRECT FLORIDA'S WATER PROBLEMS
While freshwater springs are not a major feature of southwest Florida, they do suffer many of the ills as our local waterways – over consumption of water supplies and excessive nutrient pollution. Springs are also a valuable part of Florida’s economy, tourism and natural beauty and they deserve to be protected. In the last 10 years, many of the famous freshwater springs and rivers in the central and northern parts of the state have seen a sharp drop-off in flows and a steady rise in algae, including Silver Springs and the Silver River.
Please join our Florida Conservation Coalition partners to ask Governor Scott to harness the power of public and private stakeholders and create a plan to correct the issues facing these waterways. All he needs to do is direct the Department of Economic Opportunity to assess establishing a Resource Planning and Management Committee.
Here are two ways to make your voice heard:
1. Use the online petition
2. The other is to print the petition, sign it and mail it in, or print it and take it to a few meetings to have others sign as well. This located at:
TAKE ACTION AGAIN TO KEEP OUR WATERS CLEAN
Yesterday the Senate Environment Preservation and Conservation Committee rejected the urban fertilizer preemption bill - SB 604- with 3 votes in favor and 4 votes against. The bill is now dead in the Senate this year, thanks to your help. However, we need you to help again. HB 421 – Limited Certification for Urban Landscape Commercial Applicators is coming up in the House State Affairs committee tomorrow morning (Wednesday) at 8:00 a.m. Please call or email committee members today! Send committee members the message that it’s bad policy to exempt lawn care companies from the most effective method of keeping fertilizer out of our water – source control. Lawn care companies need to comply with local fertilizer ordinances to prevent the harmful algal blooms that create fish kills and risk to human health. Please phone or contact these decision-makers TODAY!
Please click here for more details, contact information and talking points.
TELL LEGISLATORS TODAY TO PROTECT OUR WATERWAYS.
Senate Bill 604 will be voted on by the Senate’s Environmental Preservation and Conservation (EP&C) Committee on MONDAY, JANUARY 31st, 2012. Its companion, House Bill 421 will be voted on by the House’s State Affairs Committee in the very near future.
We need to make sure every decision maker understands how much these bills degrade our water quality. Email, write, or call each of the legislators on the committees even if you do not live in their District.
Please click here for more details, contact information and talking points.
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