Valenstein one of four key players for 2021– Tampa Bay Times

noah-board
Noah Valenstein visits OSFR board meeting in 2017: left to right ex-board member Pam Blasetti, member Sandy Hubbard, Valenstein, ex-SRWMD employee Darryl Smith, Vice President Terry Phelan and board member Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson.

 

Environmentalists and local governments will be looking for Valenstein, an Alachua County native, to demonstrate his commitment to protecting wetlands and his agenda for preparing Florida to confront the impacts of climate change.

Actually the DEP under Noah Valenstein has already demonstrated its agenda for protecting wetlands and it is abysmal.  This agency under Gov. Ron DeSantis has continued the legacy of Rick Scott to allow Florida’s once pristine springs and rivers to decline in flow and purity due to over-pumping and excessive fertilization.

Water withdrawal permits continue to be issued and fertilizer application goes uncontrolled.

If Valenstein had a true commitment to protecting our environment using the resources of his agency, he almost certainly would lose his job.

These politicians throw money out and declare themselves “protectors” while wasting taxpayers’ money but never hitting the sources because it is an issue of money.  They are protectors of industry but not our springs and rivers.

2021 will be no different given the same old players.

The other three key people cited by the Times are Gov. DeSantis, House Speaker Chris Sprowls and the new head of the Democratic Party either Manny Diaz or Nikki Barnes, to be decided in January.

Tampa Bay Times provides no link to this article.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
jim.tatum@oursantaferiver.org
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum


A Times editorial

Key state players for 2021
December 27, 2020

Florida faces a changing landscape in 2021, as lawmakers struggle to balance the budget in response to the coronavirus pandemic and as activists push a varied agenda for the nation’s third largest state. Here are a few of the key players who are expected to play starring roles….

Noah Valenstein. The secretary of Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection is entering 2021 with much more on his plate. In mid-December, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it had approved Florida taking control of development decisions in more of the state’s wetlands, a move sought for years by Florida Republicans but resisted by many environmentalists who fear the state fast-tracking more development. And Valenstein has assumed some responsibilities of Florida’s newly created post of chief resilience officer since Julia Nesheiwat stepped down in February. Nesheiwat was not in the job long enough to fashion a role for herself or a vision for Florida, prompting many Florida localities — including those in the Tampa Bay area — to create their own resiliency programs without any guidance from Tallahassee. Environmentalists and local governments will be looking for Valenstein, an Alachua County native, to demonstrate his commitment to protecting wetlands and his agenda for preparing Florida to confront the impacts of climate change.

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