Florida's environment is the foundation of our quality of life and our economy. It's a treasured asset for longtime residents and a magnet for new Floridians and tourists, both arriving in huge numbers.
But Florida's environment faces serious risks. It's critical that all of our state's elected leaders are aware of these risks and ready to face them with decisive action. Time is of the essence. Moving decisively on these issues now is essential to avoid disaster.
Today, August 15, a coalition of environmental and public interest organizations in Florida are releasing a report entitled "Trouble in Paradise," available at http://troubleinparadiseflorida.org/. This report outlines six major statewide issues threatening our state's environment and our residents' quality of life. The report also identifies four of Florida's many natural resource areas that are at risk and deserve special attention from state leaders. It was spearheaded by the late Nathaniel Pryor Reed, who founded 1000 Friends of Florida and continued to serve as its Chairman Emeritus until his passing.
"Trouble in Paradise" doesn't just spotlight environmental problems. It also lays out a path to solutions by naming six essential policy goals. To achieve them, the next governor will need to appoint committed, capable leaders to key state and regional agencies. Legislators will need to provide the necessary legislation and funding, and local leaders will need to tackle these issues in their communities and regions.
We hope all candidates for office will seriously consider its diagnoses of our state's environmental problems and follow its prescription for positive change. We also hope all voters will support candidates who will play a leadership role in addressing Florida's growing environmental crises.
While the challenges facing Florida are many, now is the time to chart a better, more sustainable course for our beloved state's future.
Please take some time to read Trouble in Paradise, ask your candidates for office about their positions on these critical environmental issues, and vote accordingly. Florida's future depends on it.