Yesterday, the Florida Senate Appropriations Committee approved a proposed piece of legislation that prioritizes Florida’s sugarcane industry and is poised to have devastating effects on Florida’s water and Everglades restoration efforts.

Specifically, SB 2508 touched on 3 main areas of concern:

  • Language in this bill forces the South Florida Water Management District to maintain existing, overly generous water-supply promises in the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM). This would lead to more toxic algae blooms on Florida’s east and west coasts.
  • It would delegate some wetland “dredge and fill” permit reviews to utility companies, meaning major companies like FPL and Duke Energy could potentially evaluate their own permit applications. This would not be necessary if DEP was properly staffed and resourced to take over the 404 wetland-permitting program in the first place.
  • Language in this bill would bump up certain projects in the Everglades restoration funding line, including the scientifically questionable Aquifer Storage and Recovery wells that are central to the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project.

Only 4 senators (Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg, Jason Pizzo of Miami, Linda Stewart of Orlando and Randolph Bracy of Orlando) had to gall to stand against it.

In total, 16 Florida senators snubbed the concerns of clean-water advocates in the room, voting in favor of SB 2508. Florida stands to lose too much if this bill continues to move forward. They need to hear from you, and we’ve listed them below.

Not sure which senator on this list below represents your area? You can CLICK HERE to double check.

Sen. Kelli Stargell

Sen. Aaron Bean

Sen. Ben Albritton

Sen. Dennis Baxley

Sen. Lauren Book

Sen. Doug Broxson

Sen. Manny Diaz Jr.

Sen. George Gainer

Sen. Audrey Gibson

Sen. Ed Hooper

Sen. Travis Hutson

Sen. Debbie Mayfield

Sen. Kathlee Passidomo

Sen. Keith Perry

Sen. Bobby Powell

Sen. Darryl Ervin Rouson

If you missed it, you can read our full update from yesterday by clicking here.