The Need for the ‘Florida 5’

  • OSFR Monthly Board Meeting - September 22, 2021  6:30 pm - 8:00 pm - See more details

lakebutler2 In: The Need for the ‘Florida 5’ | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
HPS II proposed mine. Lake Butler in background. Photo by Jim Tatum.

The last sentence of this article says it all:  “It is Florida’s only hope.” 

Out-of-control legislators, governors, DEP and water districts are fast tracking control and pumping permits in a rush to promote business over clean water. The peoples’ opinion counts for nothing with them and each year our springs, rivers and aquifer have less clean water than before.  Legalized bribery spawns corruption.

These non-leaders leave a legacy of dead springs and dirty water and they have no conscience to guide them.  Their guide and goal is money.

Neither have they any shame.

The Spanish language has the term “sinvergüenza.” Literally “without shame,” it is much stronger in Spanish than those words in English, since it incorporates not only shame but also has strong hints of lack of honor and moral code.

In this case the Spanish term fits perfectly.

To help, go to this link and send in your petition.

The original article can be found in the Gainesville Sun.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
[email protected]
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum

The need for the ‘Florida 5’

Michael Hill Guest columnist

The “Florida 5” are five constitutional amendments that aim to protect the last bit of existing ecosystem that hasn’t been altered of destroyed. In this time of flooding and record-high temperatures across the nation, the apathy of leaders about initiating a climate action plan and critics’ halftruths, these factors speak volumes about the need for the FL5 and other measures to protect the planet.

In the Pacific Northwest we had record temperatures reach 110 degrees, wildfires breaking out and the brink of a water shortage. Management of our natural resources has fallen by the wayside and these natural disasters are proof.

Not only will laws like the FL5 put a stop to this in the private sector but the public, too. Here in Florida, we have several examples of mismanagement of natural resources.

Whether it’s the Suwannee River Water Management district granting every pumping permit known to man or the discharge of contaminated water at Piney Point, FL5 would have stopped the disasters that followed these events. It would give activists the right to file suit to stop these events before they happen. The reason this is necessary is because we see how the polluters and perpetrators fare under scrutiny, when they don’t even get a slap on the wrist.

Leaders in the present and past have expressed animosity toward a climate plan. Sen. Rick Scott banned the use of the term “global warming” and “climate change” as governor. Current governor Ron DeSantis has undermined local democracy.

It’s clear by their actions that they don’t want to protect the planet that gives us life. It is up to the citizens of Florida to take action and safeguard their right to live a healthy life.

Critics claim that the FL5 are “antihuman.” They claim that it will be a legal hurdle in the planning of infrastructure. Here is the thing: Infrastructure has been used by local and state agencies in Florida as a means to induce land development. Transportation planners do not consider induce demand theory within the planning process and that’s a problem….

The regular farmer won’t be fazed by these amendments. They will, however, make sure that water boards are selective in their consumptive use permits so we don’t have to pipe water to our springs.

Humans need to be more conscious of their footprint but through global trends we can see that large businesses outpace the individual tenfold in terms of pollution. This is why we need the right to clean water. It is Florida’s only hope.

Michael Hill is a commissioner for the Gainesville Nature Centers Commission, which assists the City Commission through recommendations and advice given on protecting the city’s nature centers.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top
Skip to content