Stuart, FL, 2016: One of many rallies for the river hosted across the state over the past several years.

Environmental battles in Florida would not be what they are today without the public’s ability to rally, protest, march, sign wave, and gather in vigils to fight for the state’s natural resources.

Friends of the Everglades stands with 35 organizations committed to protecting the right to exercise free speech and peaceable assembly to preserve the environment and are therefore opposed to the “Combating Public Disorder” bills (HB1/SB484).

These bills could limit grassroots mobilization that has long served as a powerful tool for influencing decision makers and driving policy to protect Florida’s natural resources that in turn buoy the health of our communities and our local and state economies. As the letter states, “these bills would undermine our ability to achieve our shared conservation goals and as a result would put at risk our very way of life. We urge Senate President Wilton Simpson, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, and all members of the Florida Legislature to vote “no” on HB1/SB484, the “Combating Public Disorder” bills.

CLICK HERE to read the full letter sent to Florida legislators on behalf of 35 environmental organizations.

UPDATE: 3/12/2 1

Friends of the Everglades signed on to additional letters sent to members of the Florida Senate and the Florida House in recognition of the importance of freedom of speech and assembly to the Everglades restoration movement. The passage of this bill would eliminate tools we use as a community to ensure that the public is heard and that decision-makers respond to Everglades advocates. This would be detrimental to the progress we have made and catastrophic to the future of Everglades restoration.

CLICK HERE to read the full letter sent to members of the Florida Senate and members of the Florida House on behalf of 28 environmental organization