ANNUAL MEETING

Intersection of Conservancy Priorities and Governor DeSantis’s Environmental Platform

“In Southwest Florida we know the environment is the economy. Today there is fresh hope for our water, land, wildlife and future,” said Rob Moher, president and CEO of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida President and CEO Rob Moher outlined the organization’s legislative priorities for 2019 at the organization’s 55th Annual Members’ meeting on January 10. The meeting fell on the same day as newly sworn in Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his environmental platform.

Moher was with the Governor during his announcement and brought the news to the more than 250 people in attendance at the Conservancy’s Annual Members’ Meeting that evening. He shared how the Conservancy’s priorities intersect with the announcements made by Governor DeSantis.

In his address, Moher said:

“The Conservancy was at the center of fighting for science-based solutions to this and many other issues facing our region. Today however, is a new day – and I feel it is perhaps even a historic day for addressing Florida’s environmental water quality crisis. Solutions and strategies for which we have advocated for years, are now coming closer to becoming reality with the changes in Tallahassee, just two days into our new Governor’s term.

Governor DeSantis, whom I met with this morning, has stated his administration’s top overarching priority is water quality and the related environmental concerns. I was standing with the Governor and fellow conservation leaders, as he officially signed an executive order requesting significant changes to how his administration will lead on this issue, including spending $2.5 billion over the next four years – a $ 1 billion increase from the last administration – to begin addressing these issues.

I will outline more of this bold initiative in a moment, but I think we should also take note of a development that just occurred a few hours ago – as of 3pm, the Governor has requested the resignation of the entire South Florida Water Management District Governing Board. This bold action on the second day of the administration is a very good sign!

I think this day in Florida is indeed a special day, and I would like to share with you some thoughts first on the immediate opportunities before us to address our environmental challenges in light of this week’s developments.

We have been here for 55 years and we are bigger, stronger and more experienced - than ever in our history. We are taking that momentum and boldly moving into the future and facing our challenges head on, because the mission demands it of us. And we are able to do this because of you – our supporters and our members. More than 7,000 of you who keep us going and continue our fight to protect Southwest Florida’s water, land, wildlife and future!”

The Conservancy has three core policy priorities for 2019:

  1. Water Quality
  2. Fracking Ban
  3. Smart Growth

Read more about these priorities at our Eye On The Issues page.

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