SB 10 will jeopardize more of our state conservation dollars by sending them to South Florida
TALLAHASSEE — Today, the Florida Senate Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation met and passed SB 10, a proposal sponsored by Senator Rob Bradley and on behalf of Senate President Joe Negron that aims to spend billions of state dollars to buy farm land in South Florida to build a reservoir.
Former Congressman Steve Southerland, the Chairman of Stand Up North Florida, released the following statement after today’s meeting:
“Today’s committee meeting made clear that the interests of North and Central Florida are being ignored. There is no way that the Negron-Bradley Plan outlined in SB 10 does not negatively impact North and Central Florida, as it sets up for billions of dollars to be spent in South Florida on a single project while leaving North and Central Florida’s taxpayers holding the bag.”
Being from North Florida, Senator Bradley should have first hand knowledge of the needs we have for important restoration of our lakes, rivers, springs and beaches that will be hampered by sending even more of our limited conservation funds South.
The fact is South Florida received more than 94 percent of the Land Acquisition Trust Funds that were allocated for water projects last year. South Florida is already receiving the lions share of these conservation funds, and the Negron-Bradley Plan will send even more of these funds South, further putting important restoration projects in the rest of the state in jeopardy.”
Stand Up North Florida is a grassroots coalition of Floridians from North and Central Florida that believe the vital water resources of our region must be protected. Water plays an important role for our region – directly impacting economics through tourism, agriculture and fishing, while directly impacting our daily life and survival. With more than 70 percent of Florida’s river water sheds and nearly all of the state’s springs, North and Central Florida impact statewide water issues as well and provide nearly all of the recharge to the Floridan Aquifer, the state’s largest drinking water source.
In 2014, Florida voters passed Amendment 1, creating the Land Acquisition Trust Fund and a dedicated pot of funds for conservation projects for 20 years. In order to protect the waters of North and Central Florida, these and other dollars should be equitably shared across the state, rather than having a majority of funds dedicated to one region or area.