Renewed hope for Florida’s environment
By Rob Moher | Conservancy of Southwest Florida President & CEO
Dear friends and supporters,
This week has been one of the most consequential in my 20 years at the Conservancy. I was honored to be invited by our new Governor to join him last week in Bonita Springs for a momentous set of announcements. There is fresh hope of forthcoming action on the issues core to the Conservancy’s mission of protecting our water, land, wildlife, and future. As we continue to review Governor DeSantis’s recently announced environmental platform, we feel energized and enthusiastic while understanding that now is the time for renewed engagement and focus to see this through.
Many of the issues outlined recently by the Governor as part of a comprehensive approach to addressing our water woes, are the same issues for which the Conservancy has been advocating for years, on behalf of you our members and supporters. This includes:
- An executive order directing the Department of Environmental Protection to, “take necessary actions to adamantly oppose… hydraulic fracturing in Florida.”
- A commitment to invest $2.5 billion in water-related and environmental projects in the next four years — a billion dollars more than the previous administration.
- Adding a water quality component to the massive C-43 reservoir, currently being built in Hendry County to improve water quality from the Caloosahatchee River.
- A renewed focus on environmental accountability and the role of science to guide policy decision making.
- A request by the Governor that all members of the current South Florida Water Management District resign immediately, and the recruitment of new board members better suited to oversee restoration, protection and water supply for a growing South Florida.
About the Executive Order on Fracking
The Conservancy is the leading the fight against fracking and other risky oil extraction methods in Florida.
For the first time since we witnessed matrix acidizing and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) at the Collier-Hogan well near the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in 2013, we have a governor that is prioritizing a fracking ban in his environmental platform. On January 10, Governor DeSantis signed an executive order directing the Department of Environmental Protection to, “[t]ake necessary actions to adamantly oppose… hydraulic fracturing in Florida.”
Fortunately, bills to ban hydraulic fracturing and other risky well stimulation procedures have already been filed in the House and Senate by Representative Fitzenhagen (HB 239) and Senator Stewart (SB 146). These bills are nearly identical to bills filed by Senator Young and Representative Peters last year which received wide, bipartisan support. Now, with the support of DeSantis’ Department of Environmental Protection, these bills have an increased chance of becoming law.
There is still a long road ahead, but with your continued support, and outreach to your legislators, we’re hopeful 2019 will turn the tide for many of the threats facing our precious water resources. We at the Conservancy will stay the course — advocating on behalf of you, our supporters and we will use this window of political opportunity to advance these objectives also outlined in the Governor’s plans.
Click here for more information about fracking and advanced well stimulation treatments, please visit our website.
Click here to read the Conservancy’s legislative priorities for 2019.
Thank you for your support.
President & CEO
Conservancy of Southwest Florida