Today, April 20, 2018, the Gainesville Sun has published a letter by OSFR President Mike Roth which was written in response to a DEP press release touting the environmental qualities of Florida’s governor.
Since our governor has, in the eyes of most people who notice such things, been among the very worst leaders in protecting our environment, many see through this false praise as motivated by his employees wanting to keep their jobs. Since he also wants to become a U.S. Congressman, it would seem that possibly he wants to gain votes by projecting an image as one who cares for the environment.
Which he is not.
Mike Roth correctly deems this press release as a political commercial paid by the tax payers of Florida.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
Springs protection or propaganda?
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.