TREASURE COAST― Residents, environmentalists, activists, and advocates from across Florida plan to walk on bridges and causeways in solidarity for clean water.
On Sunday, Oct. 18, from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Floridians across the state will be standing together and on top of local bridges to 'Demand Clean Water.'
The organized statewide action is part of a larger effort, demanding that the Florida State Legislature pass major, comprehensive, specific and immediate reforms to this state's environmental laws.
This is a list of problems that require immediate legislative action:
1. Untreated sewage discharges and biosolids fertilization within watersheds.
2. New septic tanks being approved, and old ones not being regularly inspected. Especially if near a tributary or other body of water.
3. Shoreline access is disappearing, and on state/government-owned property, it is not free of charge and guaranteed.
4. Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades must be restored to send clean water south, thereby ending emergency discharges to our coasts. As I am writing this, the Army Corps is preparing to send massive discharges to The St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers.
5. Basin Management Action Plans(BMAPs) does not contain enforcement mechanisms that are stringent enough to avoid being considered 'costs of doing business'.
6. The government is spraying huge quantities of toxic herbicides into and around the shorelines of retention ponds and waterways.
7. Phosphate mining is stacking radioactive waste and discharging other mining waste directly into rivers.
8. Back-pumping/draining fields from the EAA is putting large quantities of fertilizers and herbicides directly into Lake Okeechobee.
9. Responsibility for enforcement of water regulations is dispersed across a myriad of agencies, creating severe unaccountability.
10. Fracking and Oil Drilling in this state is moving forward. It must be banned completely.
11. Harmful contamination exists at numerous and an increasing number of sites around the state.
12. Development in flood plains continues with little or no stormwater runoff mitigation.
13. Home rule is under attack, undermining local regulations that protect our waterways.
14. Dredging and beach nourishment projects are severely harming reefs and estuaries.
15. Our springs are turning from blue to green, and the water is being sold to massive bottling companies for a pittance.
16. Toxic algae blooms are creating very harmful and dangerous human health impacts.
17. Florida poised to spend 26 billion dollars on new toll roads through wildlands, and are not spending even half that amount on restoration projects.
These are not partisan issues, and therefore these are not partisan events. We encourage campaigns and candidates to attend; however, we ask that people leave political signage at home and use signs or logos that are strictly focused on water issues. We are pleased to see local candidates and major political parties in this state are competing to put themselves out front as leaders in fixing our waterways.
Marches will take place at the following locations in St. Lucie County:
Fort Pierce - 403 Seaway Drive, on the South Bridge near the FPUA (Fort Pierce Utilities Authority) wastewater treatment plant on Hutchinson Island.
For more information, visit Facebook and search: "FL *Statewide Action DEMAND CLEAN WATER"