From the desk of our Executive Director, Eve Samples, your Voice of the Everglades update:

The clock is ticking. Last Thursday, May 9, state lawmakers sent “Sprawl Bill” 540 to the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis, triggering a 15-day deadline for him to either sign or veto this environmentally reckless bill.

If approved, the legislation would be the death knell for responsible growth-management in Florida — putting citizens at huge financial risk if they challenge changes to local comprehensive plans, which are the blueprints for growth in cities and counties.

Much is at stake. Florida is the fastest-growing state in the country; it’s ground zero for the climate crisis; and it’s undertaking the largest ecosystem restoration effort on the planet. It’s a perilous time to embolden speculators seeking land-use changes to build on some of the last remaining green spaces in Florida.

We’re grateful to the more than 2,500 of you who sent messages to DeSantis, asking him to veto SB 540. If you have not yet sent DeSantis a veto message, take 2 minutes to do so now.

Challenges to comprehensive plan amendments are among the last remaining tools citizens have to prevent runaway growth that encroaches on the Everglades, Biscayne Bay, and other environmentally sensitive areas. We must protect this legal right.