Do you know how perceptions about environmental issues in politics have changed over time in Florida? How can we achieve bipartisan support on these important issues? Dr. Ram Balasubramanian and Ryan Smart provide some background on these questions and suggest strategies moving forward.
Before 2010, environmental issues such as protecting Florida’s everglades and springs, conserving natural lands, rivers and beaches, and taking on polluters, was supported by both our Republican and Democratic representatives. However, Mr. Smart notes that since then, there has been much less support from both parties on taking meaningful action to protect Florida’s environment.
Although Floridians are clear at the ballot box that they want their tax dollars to be spent providing more protections for the environment, many believe that the will of the people is not being upheld by the politicians in Tallahassee.
Mr. Smart says that this is due to numerous reasons such as influence from lobbyists and large industries, but especially because of a lack of regulatory action from government agencies to enforce meaningful protections, which has led to disasters such as the recent Piney Point disaster.
As 70% of nitrogen pollution across the State comes from agriculture, improving this and other agricultural practices is an important place to start. Our speakers discuss how policymakers can provide more resources to help the economic viability of farmers transitioning to Organic and sustainable practices, which would have a great impact on Florida’s environment.
To reduce pollution in Florida’s waterways, stronger implementation and improvement of Best Management Practices (BMP) is another actionable step that can be taken right away.
Dr. Balasubramanian explains that organizations like FOG and the Florida Springs Council play an important role in advocating for policies and politicians that protect the environment while educating citizens who must support these initiatives on an individual basis as well.
Stay up-to-date on policy issues and how you can advocate by visiting the Florida Springs Council and FOG websites.