BIG WIN: SB 2508 VETOED BY GOV. DESANTIS

This is no small victory! Senate Bill 2508 was easily the worst environmental bill we saw come out of Tallahassee this year — made up of several dangerous provisions that threatened Floridians and our environment by preserving the status quo.  We recognized the hazard this bill would pose to fragile wetlands, water management and land preservation across Florida. It had to be stopped. We issued a call to action to help us shut it down, and you did not disappoint. More than 3,500 of you sent urgent messages to Gov. DeSantis requesting a veto of this dangerous legislation.That’s in addition to more than 5,000 messages sent after the bill first emerged in February. Every one of those messages made a [...]

2022-06-08T10:57:57-04:00June 8th, 2022|All Posts, SB 2508|

One Last Chance to Kill SB 2508

Today, Senate Bill 2508 was transmitted to Gov. DeSantis’ desk. He now has 15 days to do one of three things: sign this anti-water bill into law, veto it, or do nothing — allowing it to pass into law July 1 without his signature. The only environmentally defensible move is a VETO. “SB 2508 is a grab bag of terrible ideas, destined to result in more toxic discharges to Florida's coast and fast-tracking the destruction of crucial wetlands,” Friends of the Everglades policy director Gil Smart said. If passed, SB 2508 will have widespread negative impacts on Floridians and the state’s tourism-based economy by letting utility companies pay to expedite review permits that would destroy wetlands; and preserving status quo [...]

2022-06-02T09:28:24-04:00June 2nd, 2022|Action Alerts, All Posts, SB 2508|

Everglades Coalition Asks DeSantis to Veto SB 2508

This week, the Everglades Coalition sent a letter to Gov. DeSantis requesting that he veto SB 2508. Sixty-one organizations make up the coalition devoted to restoration, preservation, and protection of the Greater Everglades. The letter applauds DeSantis's early opposition to the nefarious introduction of SB 2508 and strongly urges him to reject the remaining threats left in the bill, which would preserve the status quo that has led to toxic algae blooms in Florida. This united front from Florida's leading voices in Everglades restoration represents a critical mass of opposition to what has been recognized as one the worst environmental bills to emerge from Tallahassee. Private citizens can add their voice to the fight by clicking here to send DeSantis [...]

2022-06-01T13:30:43-04:00May 13th, 2022|All Posts, SB 2508|

VIDEO: “SB 2508 isn’t a water bill — it’s an anti-water bill”

Friends of the Everglades board member Dave Preston called it like it is in today's Clean Water Conversation: "SB 2508 isn't a water bill. It's an anti-water bill." Though it's true that early amendments to the bill carved out some of the original bad provisions, significant threats in the remaining language warrant strong and continued opposition in the days ahead. Gov. DeSantis has until June 30 to sign, veto, or quietly allow this bill to pass without signature, leaving us with a short window of opportunity to advocate for the only acceptable option to support Florida's environment, economy and people: VETO.  Big thanks to Dave, Matt Depaolis of Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation and our own policy director Gil Smart for [...]

2022-04-27T14:49:07-04:00April 27th, 2022|Clean Water Conversations, SB 2508|

An easy action you can take in honor of Earth Week

It’s #EarthWeek! In honor of the 52nd annual Earth Day this Friday, we’ve got an easy action you can take to protect Florida’s water. If you follow our work closely, perhaps you’ve already asked Gov. Ron DeSantis to Veto SB 2508 — a dangerous bill that has sweeping implications for Floridians and our environment because it preserves the status quo. But we’ve only got a small window of time to stop this bad bill from becoming law, so even if you’ve already sent a message, we still need your help to spread the word. If you haven’t already, please send a letter to Gov. DeSantis right now asking him to VETO SB 2508. If you’ve already done so, please commit [...]

2022-04-19T12:58:50-04:00April 19th, 2022|Action Alerts, All Posts, SB 2508|

SB 2508 preserves the status quo. DeSantis can still #KilltheBill

Take a look at the image above. It’s emblematic of the status quo that has allowed Lake Okeechobee’s water to be mismanaged in a way that benefits special interests — especially giant sugarcane corporations — while triggering toxic-algae blooms and depriving the Everglades of water. Senate Bill 2508 preserves that status quo.  If Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to follow through on his promise to address Florida’s water crisis, he must veto it.  Specifically, SB 2508 threatens to: Constrain environmental improvements that could be achieved through the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM).  Undermine years of work to correct a failing water-management system by perpetuating the harmful “hold and dump” practices of the existing Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS 08). [...]

Veto request caps 2022 Legislative Session

The Florida Legislature has ended its 2022 session. But we’re not done yet. One of the worst bills to emerge from Tallahassee this year was approved by the Legislature but has not yet been signed into law by Gov. DeSantis. Senate Bill 2508 was a toxic stew of bad ideas that sought to undermine responsible water management on Lake Okeechobee, fast-track wetlands destruction and expand the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program to rival, and perhaps compete with, Florida’s signature environmental land-acquisition program, Florida Forever. Introduced surreptitiously as a “budget conforming bill,” SB 2508 had only one legislative hearing — but generated such a massive wave of opposition that legislators amended it, then further altered it during budget negotiations, stripping [...]

2022-04-13T16:10:06-04:00March 31st, 2022|All Posts, Florida Legislature, SB 2508|

Calls for DeSantis to Veto SB 2508 Strengthen

Friends of the Everglades has joined Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and Calusa Waterkeeper in sending a letter to Gov. DeSantis strongly urging him to veto SB 2508. DeSantis previously blasted the nefarious nature of this bill and the way it was introduced for "short circuiting public engagement and leaving affected agencies in the dark." Though amended to remove some of the most harmful provisions, SB 2508 still poses risks to Florida’s fragile environment and threatens to undermine years of work to develop the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) that could help relieve communities from toxic discharges and harmful algae blooms. Moreover, provisions that would allow the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program to [...]

Your opposition helped fend off the worst of SB 2508

We wounded the beast. But Senate Bill 2508 is still an ugly monster of a bill. And now it’s headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk. On Thursday, March 10, the Florida Senate and House resolved a budget impasse triggered in part by the controversial SB 2508, agreeing to slight revisions in the bill language. The changes are a marginal improvement over the previous version, and they do little to redeem this sneak-attack legislation — which Senate leaders rammed through the Legislature with little public input. The bill still poses risks to Florida’s fragile environment. The original bill — which was proposed in early February and had but one legislative hearing — was a hodgepodge of bad ideas that would have [...]

2022-04-13T16:10:40-04:00March 11th, 2022|Florida Legislature, SB 2508|

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