Action Issues

What can I do to help now?

Here’s How….

Water quantity and quality. Water has to be regulated or we will soon run out.
Running out of water? Technically Florida can’t run out of water because we are surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. However, we can run out of drinkable fresh water. Today we are out of affordable fresh water.

Low Suwannee River- photo: GainsvilleSun

Low Suwannee River- photo: GainsvilleSun

The Floridian Aquifer that underlies southern Georgia and Northern Florida is one of the most productive fresh water aquifers in the world.  In many places it feeds our streams, lakes and rivers via springs.  As we overuse the Floridian aquifer, salt water will creep in around the edges. Once the salt water intrudes, what will we do? They have faced this already in South Florida and all along the densely populated east and west coast. Too many wells, too many pumped gallons and not enough rain. It’s partly a rain issue-partly. But it boils down to the fact that we are taking more out than nature is recharging. The science is clear that Floridians need to change our ways or we will run out. However, right now, policy and politics seems to be winning. It just isn’t politically correct to tell a real estate developer, a mine operator, a farmer or a manufacturer that they can’t have all the water they want. We can’t have it both ways; but we do need our rivers to run to the ocean.

North Florida Groundwater Levels Are Declining

North Florida Groundwater Levels Are Declining

Water management districts are also shying away from telling existing users that they have to cut back. The Districts do ask, but there aren’t any real consequences for violators. Lack of political will for strong rules and the pressure of growth for growth’s sake is how we have gotten into our current water mess.

Florida Water District Map

Florida Water District Map

By ignoring the data, by continuing to issue water use permits when the water is gone -our rule makers are engineering an expensive catastrophe. To keep the Gulf and Atlantic waters productive for fisheries, wildlife and tourism, our rivers need to flow fresh water to the ocean.

Catfish sink at Manatee Springs

Catfish sink at Manatee Springs

What about the water we have left?

Fish kills, red tides, algae blooms, low dissolved oxygen, arsenic pollution, high iron and high nutrient levels are causing unsightly, expensive and dangerous conditions in our fresh water and even though the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, our State Universities and all the Water Management Districts have been making an effort, pollution levels are not going down. Natural Habitat damage has already started.  Florida has hundreds of impaired waters from top to bottom and coast to coast. On the Suwannee and its tributaries, there are at least 7 springs that are classed as poisonous by the EPA drinking water standard.  It’s bad enough what these springs do to natural systems, but high levels of fertilizer runoff is deadly to infants and can cause cancer over time in children and adults. How can we not be doing something about it? It’s a shame it had to happen, but the only reason Florida is changing its water polluting rules happened because environmental groups went to court.  Even if the new EPA standard goes into effect, the FDEP is allowing too exempt some worst violators in the State.

SOS-polution suwannee Basin

SOS-polution suwannee Basin

Our elected officials need to hear from all of us.

Please take action to defend the Florida we value.

Write, Call, Email our Political Leaders.

 Tell our Governor that this needs to stop. Pollution is pollution.  Calling it Site Specific Alternative Criteria is just a way to clean up how it sounds. If you are like me, knowing this is happening is a heavy burden. Sometimes it seems the problem is so big that there is nothing we can do about it. In the past, Florida’s citizens stood up to be counted and voted to have sensible water/pollution management.

Green Algae in the Sante Fe River,  Photo: John Moran

Green Algae in the Santa Fe River, Photo: John Moran

We need to manage our water sustainable or we will all pay the price. The rules have been changed for the better in the past and there is no reason to move backwards. We have to make it Call, write and visit your elected officials. Write to the Senate and House leaders and Environmental Committee Members. Hold picnics and special dinners for your elected officials where they can meet lots of voters in one Venue flood their bandwidth with side of the story. Be polite, be grateful for their public service, and keep to simple and specific talking points. Make sure you have your facts straight.

I would argue that Florida is one of the best places in the world to live because we have the best of all worlds Here when it comes to water quality and quantity, we don’t want to make 3rd world mistakes. This is what gets me going in the morning. I love Florida, I love my way of life and I want future generations to have the same. Failure is not an option. We have to convince our decision makers that our native Florida is worth protecting.

It’s important that you write to your own Senator and Representative, but also let the Senate President, House Speaker and Governor know what you want.

  • Be absolutely certain you spell your legislator’s name correctly and use the correct address. If you don’t, you could lose your audience.
  • Type or print legibly. Sign your name neatly and give your address correctly so they can respond to your letter.
  • Keep letters, email, and faxes brief. Never write more than one page. Concise written correspondence is more likely to grab and keep the reader’s attention.
  • Identify your issue or opinion at the beginning of the letter, don’t bury your main point under trivial text.
  • Cover only one issue per letter. If you have another issue to address, write another letter.
  • Back up your opinions with supporting facts. Your letter should inform the reader.
  • Avoid abbreviations or acronyms, and don’t use technical jargon. Rather than impressing your reader, such terms will only frustrate him or her.
  • Don’t send the same letter to more than one legislator. Personalized letters have more impact.

Address letters to Members of the House of Representatives as follows:

The Honorable John Doe
Florida House of Representatives
The Capitol
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300, Enter Here to find your Florida House Representative and go to ” Find Your Representative”.

Address letters to senators this way:

Senator Jane Doe
The Capitol
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100, Enter Here to find your Florida Senator

Legislative Contacts

Mike Haridopolos: Senate President
haridopolos.mike.web@flsenate.gov
Tallahassee Office:
409 The Capitol
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
(850) 487-5056
Senate VOIP: 5056
 

 Contact Florida Speak of the House

  • The Honorable Dean Cannon, Speaker
    Florida House of Representatives
    420 The Capitol
    402 South Monroe Street
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300 (850) 488-7146 Email 

Contact Governor Scott

  • Executive Office of Governor Rick Scott
    400 S Monroe St
    Tallahassee, FL 32399
    (850) 488-7146  Email Gov. Scott

For More Information about Writing to our Government Officials
Enter Here

 

Keep up with latest news…

  • To find out what is going on with the Florida Environment , you can catch updates on Florida’s Environmental News from the Capital by Bruce Ritchie Blog Spot 

 

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