Audubon Advocate: 2017 Legislative Session - Week 2 Update

Florida Conservation Network Legislative Update

Week Two of the Florida Legislative Session

Florida’s land conservation efforts like Florida Forever and the Rural and Family Lands program help ensure natural lands are conserved for wildlife and future generations. These programs also protect land needed to recharge water supplies and improve water quality. Audubon Florida is urging legislators to approve at least $150 million in funding for Florida’s land conservation programs, and we are hearing some encouraging feedback.  

But, we need your help to keep up the momentum. Send a message to your legislators and ask them to support Florida’s land conservation programs – Florida Forever and Rural and Family Lands. Working together, we can make a difference and help save the places that make Florida special.

Audubon’s allies and partners continue to make their voices heard in support of funding for land conservation. Check out Audubon’s land conservation webpage and see who else has signed on to support land conservation.

America's Everglades: Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir

The Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir continues to be at the core of Senate Bill 10 (SB 10) and House Bill 761 (HB 761). This week, Orvis CEO Perk Perkins and other business leaders took out a full-page ad in the Miami Herald to support this project as an important way to protect Florida’s environment and economy.

Help Audubon save America’s Everglades, and tell your legislators to support the EAA Reservoir project.

As one of the top issues during this legislative session, many questions pop up about the EAA Reservoir project and the proposed legislation. Get your questions answered in Audubon’s new Q&A

Audubon Asks for Improvements to SB 10 to Protect Water Resources

Audubon Florida’s Eric Draper wrote to Senator Rob Bradley, the sponsor of Senate Bill 10 (SB 10), asking him to change four issues of the bill. The letter asked for changes addressing these specific issues: 

  • Increase the bonding capacity for Florida Forever bonds to $3 billion;
  • Remove a statement about changing the purpose of land acquisition away from conservation;
  • Use other state and local funds rather than the voter-approved Land Acquisition Trust Fund to offset costs of converting from septic tanks to sewer systems;
  • Correct references to Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan projects. 

We believe that SB 10 holds great promise to help solve Florida’s water crises. The bill has a long way to go before final passage. We urge everyone to support the EAA Reservoir, be constructive, and work towards the best possible bill.

Audubon’s 2017 Legislative Priorities

  1. $150 million for Land Conservation including Florida Forever and Rural and Family Lands.
  2. Support Senate President Negron’s proposal to buy land for reservoirs to send Lake Okeechobee south.
  3. Advance water conservation and new limits on water pollution sources.

We hope we can count on you to stay engaged. Audubon is Florida’s most influential conservation voice. We show up at the right time, do our homework, and are respected for advancing science-based solutions. We propose more than we oppose. When we oppose, we work hard to stop bad ideas from becoming law. 

Listen to Audubon on Mayor Levine's Radio Show

P.S. – Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine recently interviewed Audubon Florida Executive Director Eric Draper on The Mayor. Listen to Eric and Mayor Levine discuss some of Florida’s top environmental issues.

How you can help, right now