You can help influence our decision makers to make the right choices to protect our unique natural environment and quality of life. Here are several ways you can take action and let your voice be heard:
1. Sign up to receive Action Alerts via email so you can take action instantly.
2. Find out about the current critical issues facing Southwest Florida and what actions you can take to influence decision makers in the Legislative Action Center. It only takes a few minutes to make a big difference!
3. You can also read through several present and past Policy Action Alerts below for more detail on the issues.
Policy Action Alerts
Protect Clean Water for Florida!
After years in battle – and just hours before a court-ordered deadline – Conservancy of Southwest Florida, our partners and the people of Florida won a partial victory for clean water.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed standards for nutrient pollution for all waters in Florida intended for drinking, swimming or fishing, covering 85 percent of the state including most of the waters in southwest Florida.
At first glance, this looks like a victory. But look more closely and you will see two major problems:
1. For 15 percent of the waters in the state, EPA has approved Florida’s weak, meaningless nutrient pollution water quality standards.
2. The EPA indicated it would withdraw the stronger standards for the other 85 percent of waters throughout the state if the Florida DEP proposes standards for those waters, including most of the waters in southwest Florida. If they do, then EPA’s meaningful protection for our waters would be replaced by Florida’s meaningless ones.
In 2008, a lawsuit was filed by the Conservancy, Florida Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida, and St. Johns Riverkeeper asserting that Florida needed numeric limits on nutrient pollution to deal with the burgeoning algae, slime and public health problems. We believe the EPA has a duty to set those limits because the state of Florida had not.
Conservancy members and tens of thousands of people across Florida contacted the EPA, members of Congress and President Obama to demand our government uphold Clean Water Act standards.
Our work is not done. PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW.
Read full action alert here.
TELL OBAMA: REJECT FLORIDA’S DIRTY WATER RULES
Florida’s waters are being poisoned and we need to keep EPA guidelines and Clean Water Act rules in place. The industry-friendly Florida Department of Environmental Protection has drafted a substitute for EPA’s rules that would only require pollution control AFTER waters have been severely degraded, requiring expensive clean-up at taxpayer expense. So-called “nutrient pollution” – excess nitrogen and phosphorous in our waters – has reached dangerously high levels, triggering toxic outbreaks of algae and bacteria. The State’s proposed standards will allow unsafe pollution levels and we must uphold the pollution regulations set by the US EPA under the Clean Water Act. Dirty. Our economy, tourism, recreational fishing and real estate values are all at risk. Let President Obama know NOW that Florida deserves better and we want CLEAN WATER.
TAKE ACTION TODAY: CORRECT FLORIDA'S WATER PROBLEMS
While freshwater springs are not a major feature of southwest Florida, they do suffer many of the ills as our local waterways – over consumption of water supplies and excessive nutrient pollution. Springs are also a valuable part of Florida’s economy, tourism and natural beauty and they deserve to be protected. In the last 10 years, many of the famous freshwater springs and rivers in the central and northern parts of the state have seen a sharp drop-off in flows and a steady rise in algae, including Silver Springs and the Silver River.
Please join our Florida Conservation Coalition partners to ask Governor Scott to harness the power of public and private stakeholders and create a plan to correct the issues facing these waterways. All he needs to do is direct the Department of Economic Opportunity to assess establishing a Resource Planning and Management Committee.
Here are two ways to make your voice heard:
1. Use the online petition
2. The other is to print the petition, sign it and mail it in, or print it and take it to a few meetings to have others sign as well. This located at:
TAKE ACTION AGAIN TO KEEP OUR WATERS CLEAN
Yesterday the Senate Environment Preservation and Conservation Committee rejected the urban fertilizer preemption bill - SB 604- with 3 votes in favor and 4 votes against. The bill is now dead in the Senate this year, thanks to your help. However, we need you to help again. HB 421 – Limited Certification for Urban Landscape Commercial Applicators is coming up in the House State Affairs committee tomorrow morning (Wednesday) at 8:00 a.m. Please call or email committee members today! Send committee members the message that it’s bad policy to exempt lawn care companies from the most effective method of keeping fertilizer out of our water – source control. Lawn care companies need to comply with local fertilizer ordinances to prevent the harmful algal blooms that create fish kills and risk to human health. Please phone or contact these decision-makers TODAY!
Please click here for more details, contact information and talking points.
TELL LEGISLATORS TODAY TO PROTECT OUR WATERWAYS.
Senate Bill 604 will be voted on by the Senate’s Environmental Preservation and Conservation (EP&C) Committee on MONDAY, JANUARY 31st, 2012. Its companion, House Bill 421 will be voted on by the House’s State Affairs Committee in the very near future.
We need to make sure every decision maker understands how much these bills degrade our water quality. Email, write, or call each of the legislators on the committees even if you do not live in their District.
Please click here for more details, contact information and talking points.
OPPOSE "DIRTY WATER" FEDERAL LEGISLATION.
Contact Senators Nelson and Rubio TODAY and let them know to oppose Amendments 939, 986 and 1003 in the proposed federal 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill. The U.S. Senate leadership is using a procedure that will allow the "2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill" to be "debated at a minutes notice." The public may have almost no advanced notice that the bill is heading to the floor. Send a strong message TODAY that Amendments 939, 986 and 1003 are detrimental to our waters and our economy and are decimating the Clean Water Act established in 1972. Click here for "talking points" and contact information.
Immediate Action Needed!
Please call the members of House Agriculture and Natural Affairs Subcommittee BEFORE Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. and urge them to vote NO on HB 421 Limited Certification for Urban Landscape Commercial Fertilizer Application, which would exempt lawn workers holding “limited certification” from any restrictions on fertilizer application. The only urban turf fertilizer restrictions in Florida are those that have been adopted by localities. This bill preempts them and will leave local governments and taxpayers defenseless against nutrient pollution from lawn applicators. Details HERE.
ACT TODAY! Florida’s Clean Waters at Risk
Nutrient pollution (nitrogen and phosphorous) is one of the most widespread causes of Florida’s declining water quality. Yet, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) is proposing its own rule that weakens Florida’s already ineffective nutrient pollution standards.
Please voice your support for clean water and oppose this damaging regulatory change. Ask FDEP to rewrite its rules to include three important elements, or to implement EPA’s nutrient criteria. All details are included here.
Send your comments NOW to Florida DEP’s Eric Shaw here.
YOU CAN STOP FERTILIZER POLLUTION FROM KILLING OUR WATERWAYS
Collier County is one of the only municipalities in southwest Florida without a protective ordinance to reduce fertilizer pollution in our water. Pollution from nutrients in fertilizer can contribute to harmful algae blooms resulting in dead fish washing up on our beaches --- it also poses risks to human health, economic health and productive waterways. You can help in two ways:
Email, write or call each of the Collier County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) to save our waters. Click here for contact information and more details. Or click here to take action right away.
Attend the BCC meeting and give three-minute testimony. Tentative dates are June 14th, 2011 and June 28th, 2011. Location is Board Chambers, 3rd Floor, 3299 East Tamiami Trail, Naples, Florida. Contact Amber Crooks, Conservancy of Southwest Florida natural resources specialist at (239) 262-0304 FREE x286 for more details.
Clean and productive waters are the lifeblood of our area’s tourism economy and directly relate to our quality of life --- please take action today.
Sustainable Water Supplies at Risk
In 2007, Florida invested $200 million in Everglades restoration. This year that figure dropped to $50 million - a 75 percent reduction. The proposed State budget would reduce Everglades spending even further - to a mere $17 million. One in three Floridians depend directly on the Everglades for their daily supply of fresh water - more than six million residents. Additionally, Everglades restoration is good for economic growth --- it creates jobs, enhances property values, boosts tourism and helps accommodate future population growth. Without a MINIMUM budget of $50 million for Everglades restoration, our water supply will be jeopardized, private sector construction jobs will be lost and future Everglades project costs will increase taxpayers expense. Call our State decision makers today and tell them to support a $50 million budget for Everglades restoration. Get contact information, read more details and messaging suggestion here. Please forward to your contacts and ask them to take action today.
Protect a Sustainable Future
Earlier this week HB 7129 was filed in the Florida House. This sweeping legislation threatens to dismantle Florida's hard-fought growth management system. By repealing essential growth management statutes and rules, this bill creates a prohibitive and unreasonable process for citizens to challenge plan amendments. Your help is needed to stand up for citizens' rights! Read more here and contact your Representative --- suggested points for your email are included in the same document.
Find your Florida Representative. Once you're on that page, click on the "Find your Representative" icon and enter your address.
PROTECT COLLIER COUNTY WATERS!
A number of waterbodies in Collier County violate state and federal water quality standards. To protect and restore these waters, the County must develop a mechanism to reduce pollutants. Since these plans are not yet completed, you can still participate in the process and make a difference! ACT NOW! Clean water is a critical component of Florida’s environmental health and economic stability. Contact the Collier County Planning Commission (CCPC) and Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) to encourage the development of an effective Watershed Management Plan.
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT TO SAVE OUR WATERS
On November 15th, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new quantitative limits for the amount of sewage, animal manure, and fertilizer (nutrient pollution) allowed in Florida's lakes, rivers, streams, and springs to reduce water contamination. Now, the new Senate Majority Leader, Speaker of the House and Florida’s legislators are threatening to prevent the implementation of these new limits! You can help protect our water by calling Senator Nelson at (202) 224-5274 , Senator LeMieux at (866) 630-7106 , and Congressman Mack at (202) 225-2536 . Download and print the alert to share with others and view the suggested message.
Read a recent St. Pete Times editorial, "Florida officials team up to protect water polluters."
With only about 100 remaining, the Florida Panther is one of the most endangered animals in the world, and the single greatest threat to their survival is loss of habitat. Yet, plans for devastating amounts of development continue to threaten critical panther lands in South Florida counties, something the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) have failed to address. Visit the ACTION CENTER today to write a letter demanding the FWS designate lands to protect panther habitat. Download and print the alert to share with others.
Since 2001, Florida Forever has worked to protect thousands of acres that are not only critical to preservation, but also to Florida's economic success. With the 2010-2011 legislative session underway, Governor Crist faces pressure to drop full Florida Forever funding from the State budget. Visit the ACTION CENTER to write a letter urging your Governor and legislators to continue funding to preserve environmentally sensitive Florida lands. Download and print the alert to share with others.
Florida’s freshwaters are at risk from the lack of numeric nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorous) water quality standards. Negative effects of nutrient pollution increase algal blooms, pose serious human health threats and create massive economic losses affecting Florida’s coastal businesses. Voice your support for the EPA's adoption of numeric nutrient standards. Write a letter and share the information with your friends at the ACTION CENTER today. Download and print the alert to share with others.
Support the continued funding of the Florida Forever Land Acquisition program. View a PDF of the alert or visit the ACTION CENTER to take action today!
Support protection of water quality, wetlands, and wildlife in southeast Lee County! A number of organizations are in support of the DR/GR amendments, and you can support too! Read the full support letter here
April 23, 2009
Mirasol development proposes destruction of acres of wetlands in the Cocohatcee Slough. Read more>>
January 21, 2009
Conservancy Petitions Secretary of the Interior to Designate Critical Habitat for Florida Panthers. Read more >>
Panther Alert UPDATE March 26, 2009! - Contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of the Interior immediately to voice your support for the designation of the Primary, Dispersal and Secondary Zones as critical habitat for the Florida panther under the Endangered Species Act.