Last fall, a group of us created a coalition with the aim of educating the cities and counties across North Florida about the inequity of state conservation funding, and how a huge majority – more than 75 percent in 2016 – of conservation and water project funding was going to South Florida.
Our coalition hoped that if North Florida could stand together, perhaps they could demand a greater amount of funding for much needed conservation and water projects here at home. Funding that could help us protect our rivers, lakes, springs and beaches. These natural resources that are a vital part of our tourism, economy and way of life.
We feared, and rightfully so, that a proposal by Senate President Joe Negron to spend $1.5 billion in South Florida on a single reservoir would further jeopardize our chances of receiving the dollars our region needs and deserves. And not just now, but for the next 20 years.