On Tuesday Governor Ron DeSantis unveiled a budget recommendation that includes $625 million to protect water resources and restore the Everglades. But there’s no guarantee the state Legislature will pass a budget that reflects an emphasis on the environment.
This Saturday the group Food & Water Watch will hold a “Rally to Protect Florida’s Water” in Bradenton to support bills to ban fracking and to reduce pollution.
WMNF News spoke with Brooke Errett, a Florida organizer with Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Action.
“On Saturday, February 2nd – Groundhog Day – at 11:00 a.m. we will be holding a rally in Bradenton at Tower Plaza in Riverwalk. We’re having this rally in Senate President [Bill] Galvano’s district because we need his help to ensure comprehensive legislation to protect our waters is moved through the senate this session. Senator Galvano has remained silent on whether he will support a fracking ban. That’s why we’re rallying on Saturday.”
You’re talking about a ban on hydraulic fracturing. Isn’t that something that’s supported by the governor and it’s also part of the Florida constitution now, isn’t it?
“Actually, we are supporting a ban of fracking in all forms, including [matrix acidizing] and acid fracturing and hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing would not be the type of fracking that would occur in Florida or the type that has occurred here before. So we want to make sure the definition in the governor’s executive order is clarified that it will include all forms of banning fracking. As for the constitutional amendment, that was only concerning offshore drilling and fracking in state waters. So it would still not preclude us from drilling or fracking on state lands.”
How about legislation to prevent nutrient pollution in Florida?
“Well, there have been a litany of bills filed this year that are addressing everything from septic tanks to updating water infrastructure to building a reservoir. With the governor’s support of environmental policy there have been a lot of excited legislators that are attempting to find different ways to address the nutrient pollution.”
Two other groups helping to organize the Rally to Protect Florida’s Water are Suncoast Surfrider Foundation and Floridians Against Fracking.