Dear Friends of Florida’s Waters:

I’m making my way back home after several days of meetings around the state. I wanted to give you a couple of quick notes about what I learned as I met with some of the state’s most knowledgeable and most effective environmental leaders.

At the Florida Springs Council meeting in Gainesville we were encouraged to let our members know that all groups (environmental, civic, recreation, business, faith-based, etc.) in Florida that support our springs (their protection and restoration) are invited to join the Council. You can find more information about the Florida Springs Council by contacting Heather Culp at this email address:

hculp@floridaspringsinstitute.org

The council is expecting a springs bill again this year and is looking forward to working with friends in the Legislature to get a strong bill passed this year. You will hear more from me about this legislation in coming weeks, so stay tuned!!!

The Caloosahatchee River and Everglades West Coast BMAP update meeting in Ft Myers on Wednesday held no surprises. It was well attended and there were a couple of very interesting presentations by the City of Bonita Springs and the City of Ft Myers regarding their efforts to cleanup their storm water and reduce nutrients to the Caloosahatchee River.

The FL DEP presented a two-year update on the results of the BMAP (Basin Management Action Plan) for the Caloosahatchee and Everglades West Coast. The 23-page report is wholly lacking in substance. DEP’s cheerleading team put on happy faces and tried their best to convince a roomful of well-informed people that things are looking up. However, John Cassanni with the SW Florida Watershed Council provided us with some trend data on total nitrogen concentrations in the Tidal Caloosahatchee Basin in advance of the meeting. The data were collected from the Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas and include many if not most of the long-term Lee County monitoring stations in the BMAP Tidal Basin. It is apparent that trends are increasing and at many stations the trend would have been steeper if the trends started in December 2012 when the BMAP was adopted instead of going back to 1990.

The following news story that is in today’s Ft Myers News-Press tells the story well.

http://www.news-press.com/story/news/2015/01/28/critics-state-blind-pollution-problem/22474009/

The Caloosahatchee story is common through out the state. Our waters are getting more and more polluted, especially with nutrients, even as DEP adopts BMAPs to purportedly get the pollution under control. Apparently DEP believes that their only duty is to keep their political Lords happy and they owe the public nothing. Not even truth, much less their honest service.

There are many local efforts in Lee County and surrounding areas that will improve this situation. This is the case in many areas around the state. While we have liars running our state who answer only to politically powerful polluters, it is important that we keep working together on the local level, often with local political leaders to protect and restore our waters.

I’m still making my way back home so I’ll close for now. Be sure to check out the petition for the Constitutional Amendment regarding homegrown solar energy. The website for that is: www.flsolarchoice.org

Also the time is NOW to let your legislators know your thoughts about the spending of Amendment 1 monies. Give them a call and weigh-in.

For all of Florida’s waters,

Linda Young, Executive Director

Florida Clean Water Network

PO Box 5124

Navarre, FL 32566

850.322.7978

www.floridacleanwaternetwork.org

You can follow us on Facebook at Florida Clean Water Network and/or Clean Water Network of Florida


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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