The Council of
Civic Associations, Inc.
November 19, 2007
Dear Member of the House Transportation and
Enclosed is a response to the October 18, 2007 testimony by the Honorable John Woodley, Jr.,
Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) before the House of
Representatives Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment
Committee. The subject Mr. Woodley addressed was
the 35th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act: Successes and Future Challenges.
Our comments focus on concern about the
State of Florida – and for good reason. Nowhere in the United States does there appear to be greater
political interference that has contributed to the Corps of
Engineers and other federal regulatory agencies inability to fulfill their
statutory mandates, consequently endangering valuable and
irreplaceable national resources. Significant public trust lands in South Florida include Picayune Strand State Forest, Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida Panther NWR,
Ten Thousand Islands NWR, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, J.N.
Ding Darling NWR, Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve (part
of the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program) and lands purchased with
federal funds, e.g., Southern Golden Gate Estates and Fakahatchee
The wetlands type found in South Florida is geographically limited with high biodiversity that
supports 31 mammal, 139 bird, 40 reptile, 17 amphibian and 22 fish species
including 10 federally listed species. Of the two hundred and seventy-four
migratory bird species in South Florida, 175 of these are found in aquatic habitats. Of the 992 plants species
found in hydric pine flatwoods,
98 species are state listed [threatened]. Wetlands and water quality are
interconnected. 711 of the 5,217 bodies of water in the State have been
identified as impaired (2000 305 (b) report).
The Council of Civic Associations (CCA) March 8, 2007
letter to the Honorable Nick J. Rahall, Chairman of the Houses Committee
on Natural Resources and the March 13, 2007 letter to the Honorable
Barbara Boxer, Chairman of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee
documented the massive destruction of natural resources and proactive
marginalization or outright silencing of governmental employees who
conscientiously attempt to live up to the responsibilities of their positions.
This should come as no surprise to anyone.
It remains to be seen whether this current
Congress will address these problems any differently than previous
sessions. We hope so.
Ann Hauck, Secretary
tel and fax: 239-495-7379