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02 • 14 • 2022

Protect Everglades Restoration Policies, Florida

Surfrider Foundation supports Everglades and wetlands protection policies. Everglades restoration comes before agricultural drains on wetlands and guards the investment of billions of dollars Florida taxpayers have put forth for their protection.

* This bill passed. We're actively asking the Governor to veto this bad bill. Though some of the biggest concern areas were removed, it still undermines the hard work to better the water quality and protect the Everglades. 

The Surfrider Foundation supports the restoration of the Everglades and Florida's wetlands. Everglades restoration will make South Florida more resilient to threats of sea level rise and climate change. Wetlands protect the carbon stored in peat soils and maximize carbon sequestration capacity across this 3 million acre ecosystem.  It also protects South Florida's drinking water from sea level rise and saltwater intrusion.

Since the 1960s, agricultural and stormwater runoff has degraded the water quality of the Everglades. By the 1990s, over 40,000 public acres were impacted by high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen. Restoration efforts were prioritized by Floridians through legislative action withthe passage of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). Better water quality supports tourism, recreation, wildlife, and preserves this special place for future generations. 

The 2022 Florida Senate proposed SB 2508 Environmental Resources, disguised as a budget conforming bill for SB2500, Appropriations Bill.  

In its original form, the bill would create additional pressure over the South Florida Water Management District, reinforced by the threat of withholding state funding, and may minimize its ability to properly implement LOSOM

EAA reservoir progress will be in the queue with other Everglades restoration projects, likely slowing progress on this priority. Wetland destruction could become “pay to play” with expedited permitting for those able to pay additional fees and thereby fast-tracking wetland destruction.  This may also make a 120 challenge more difficult or impossible as a 3rd party.

Fight this bad bill and ask for Florida taxpayer dollars to be spent the way they were intended. 

Coastal Preservation