Fund the Governor’s agenda with sound, science-based solutions to protect Florida’s economic health.
As the 2019 Florida congressional session winds down, congressional leadership are appropriating funds for the 2020 budget. In these appropriation asks are the funds to fix Florida’s growing water crisis, which came to a head in Summer 2018. Though Governor DeSantis has asked for a comprehensive, progressive water policy agenda, some bills do not accomplish enough to fix the issues or are asking for pork-fed pet projects that do not solve the state’s water quality issues at the source.
We ask you to take action and email your legislator and Florida congressional leadership to appropriate funds to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection that prioritizes repairing and upgrading the state’s wastewater infrastructure’s $18-billion shortfall. Florida’s wastewater infrastructure woes are a statewide problem and can only be fixed with statewide resolve.
Due to Florida’s aging, antiquated, and failing wastewater collection and treatment infrastructure, our citizens and tourists have faced a scantly mitigated threat to our state’s ecological and human health. Human sewage, the resulting runoff from sewage spills, and inundated septic tanks routinely flood Florida waters with nitrogen and phosphorous that act as superfoods for harmful algal blooms. These include the blooms the state witnessed in Lake Okeechobee, in the St Lucie and Caloosahatchee watersheds, and the red tide bloom that crippled the Gulf coast in 2018 from Naples to Tarpon Springs. These blooms decimated the Gulf coast tourism industry from July through December.
Worse, these super-fed blooms carry with them sewage-borne human pathogens that have dangerous and detrimental effects on humans and wildlife. When the State of Florida’s news outlets have to spend more time warning the populations of the east and west coasts of water-borne threats rather than celebrating the unique beauty and natural resources of the state, it is time to take action to protect these wonders and the resulting economies that draw from their health.
We urge you to join the American Water Security Project and take action today. Let Florida’s congressional leadership, senators, and representatives know that the future of Florida’s water-based economies and lifestyle depend upon access to clean, healthy, sewage-free waters.