Audubon Advocate: 2017 Legislative Session - Week 6 Update

Florida Conservation Network Legislative Update

Week 6 of the Florida Legislative Session

America's Everglades: Senate Bill 10 Passes in Senate, Now Everglades Fight Continues in House

In case you missed it, the big news of the week is that the Florida Senate passed Senate Bill 10 (SB 10), a significant piece of Everglades restoration legislation. SB10 focuses on water storage in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) to reduce harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee and replenish freshwater needed for the Southern Everglades and Florida Bay. Your support helped advance this bill through the Senate. Now, attention turns to the Florida House of Representatives, and they need to hear from you! Click here to ask your representative to support this legislation.
Thanks to you, attempts to divert attention from SB10 and hold more water in Lake Okeechobee as an alternative did not gain traction. Lake Okeechobee is the liquid heart of the Everglades and host to some of the most important habitat in Florida. Protecting the health of Lake Okeechobee is important for wildlife, improving water quality, and a world-class bass fishing industry. Check out Audubon’s new fact sheet about the dangers of holding too much water in Lake Okeechobee. 

More Counties Send Pro-Land Conservation Resolutions to Tallahassee

On Tuesday, Walton County added their name to the growing list of counties that are sending a message to Tallahassee: fund land conservation programs. Across the state, local Audubon chapters are working to secure county-wide resolutions in support of state land conservation program funding. State land conservation programs like Florida Forever and the Rural and Family Lands program help ensure special places are conserved for wildlife and future generations while protecting Florida’s water resources.

Your help is still needed to keep up the momentum in Tallahassee. Send a message to your legislators and ask them to support Florida’s land conservation programs – Florida Forever and Rural and Family Lands. 

Audubon Florida is urging state legislators to approve at least $150 million in funding for Florida’s land conservation programs. Across the state, local Audubon chapters continue to work to secure county-wide resolutions in support of critical land conservation program funding. Has your county passed a resolution in support of these important conservation programs?

P.S. – Florida Legislature fails to fully fund Florida Forever. Florida’s most special places are at risk if state legislators do not invest in key conservation programs like Florida Forever and the Rural and Family Lands Program. The current budget in the Florida Senate has $15 million for Florida Forever and the House budget has nothing allocated for Florida Forever. Audubon continues to work with state policymakers to advance Florida’s land conservation programs. Be sure your legislators know that you support land conservation. 

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. 

How you can help, right now