Dear Friends of Florida’s waters:

Dozens of our member groups recently signed on to a national letter of opposition to Senator Rubio’s bill to exempt ship discharges from the Clean Water Act.  These are discharges of invasive species, bilge water, and graywater—bad for habitat and bad for water quality.

Now we need you, Florida groups and individuals, to call the offices of Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio to register continued opposition.  These calls are needed to strengthen the position of our allies in Congress.

Please call and tell Florida Senators you OPPOSE the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act of 2015 (“VIDA”) because:

∙           You want strong ballast water regulation to prevent more aquatic invasive species from being discharged into Florida waters, invasive species that kill off native species and cause irreversible harm to habitat.  VIDA is a very weak substitute for the Clean Water Act.
∙           Removing ship discharges from the Clean Water Act is a taxpayers’ subsidy to the shipping industry whose invasive species discharges are already costing taxpayers billions of dollars annually.
∙           VIDA eliminates the jurisdiction of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to protect National Marine Sanctuaries— such as the Florida Keys—from ship discharges.

Senator Bill Nelson 202/224-5274
Senator Marco Rubio 202/224-3041

Florida groups really stepped up to register opposition to this terrible bill in June.  Now Florida groups and individuals have a special role to play in helping out allies in Congress to fight VIDA and help preserve the power of the Clean Water Act over ship discharges.

Please help out now with your phone calls!

Thank you! Linda Young

About the Author

Linda Young has been the executive director of the Clean Water Network of Florida since 1994. From 1989 to 1997, she founded and published a monthly statewide environmental newspaper. Over the past twenty three years, she has co-founded some of the most long-lasting and effective environmental organizations in the Southeast, including the Gulf Restoration Network, Gulf Coast Environmental Defense and C.A.T.E. She holds a B.A. in Communications from Southern Oregon University and a M.A. in Political Science/Campaign Management from the University of West Florida.

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