There's not just dirty water in the Everglades and
our waterways, there's dirty politics, too."
FIX THE POLITICS.
Not only is the Everglades one of the most important ecosystems on the planet, but it is also the source of drinking water for 9 million Floridians and untold tens of millions of visitors.
Our ability to reverse the trajectory of decline in the Everglades and coastal estuaries is not just a test of our scientific knowledge, engineering smarts and our determination to never give up, but it is also about the choices we make to elect leaders who are able to address the most important challenges of our times.
The most important issue isn’t what we must do next. That question is already answered and is uncontroverted scientific fact: Send more clean water south to the Everglades and Florida Bay.
Given that we know what to do next, we are left with ballot box choices. Which leaders understand that the most important element of this multi-decade effort is a partnership? Do Floridians want a restored Everglades and thriving coastal estuary ecosystems or not?
Why can’t we just restore the Everglades and ensure its survival for generations to come?
Do Floridians want a restored Everglades and thriving coastal estuary ecosystems or not?
VISION. LEADERSHIP. SCIENCE.
It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we hold those three values in high regard. But magic alone won’t save the Everglades. We also need Political Will.
We've known what the repercussions of this broken water management system would be since the 50s, with plans to fix it since the 80s, laws on the books between the state and federal govt since 2000 – the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (or CERP) and the support of Florida taxpayers forever.
The solutions are known and have already been agreed to, yet the foot dragging continues. And so do the discharges - year after year after year - to both coasts of Florida. Meanwhile, the Everglades is desperate for that freshwater to be cleaned and sent their way.
What is Political Will? It’s easy to spot when you see it. A defining element of historical moments, it is what is required when called to stand for something much larger than ourselves. It is the leader who will stand and fight the status quo.
It’s been more than two decades since the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) was signed into law and we still don’t have the right elements in place to send the water south. While we’ve made some progress, it has not been enough. What we have had enough of are stall tactics, delays, and a kick-the-can-down-the-road mentality that has allowed polluters to keep polluting with impunity.
The destructive influence of Big Sugar is deeply embedded in both political parties in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. For us to merely vote along party lines will not break their stranglehold on Florida’s government.
That means voting for candidates with the political will to stand up to the status quo and force the change we need to save the Everglades and three nationally vital coastal estuaries.