mike roth in action In: DEP Political Commercial | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
OSFR President Mike Roth

We were greatly concerned to read a Florida Department of Environmental Protection press release dated April 2, touting a new outreach campaign, “My Home, My Springs.” It was eerily reminiscent of Donald Trump seating aides and Cabinet members around a conference table and having them profess their adoration and thanks to him.

Quoting the water district managers one at a time, this political commercial (paid for by taxpayers) has people whose jobs are entirely at the discretion of the governor talking about how great an environmentalist this governor has been for Florida. In fact, these hand-picked water managers have fired and hired scientists for the districts in such manner as to make “the best available science” work for the interests of industry and developers, while long-term lovers of our once pristine springs and rivers continue to notice the degradation of the clarity and flow of our waters.

After years of decisions to the detriment of our natural resources, the governor made a wise and commendable decision in vetoing House Bill 1149, which would have allowed for the injection of treated wastewater into the aquifer that provides the drinking water for tens of millions of people.

However, one quality decision does not suffice to walk back years of policy allowing massive consumption use permits, effectively reducing our overall water supply, and wastewater dumping and excess nitrate infusion into our wetlands and recharge areas — not to mention the massive destruction of wetlands to facilitate property developers and the oil and gas industry.

So April is Springs Protection Awareness Month. Does that mean that the public is to be made aware of springs protection? Or does that mean that our “environmentalist” governor, his Cabinet and his water managers finally noticed that the springs need protection? Our children and grandchildren want to know.

Michael J. Roth is president of Save Our Santa Fe River.