Former Florida Governor and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham wrote this blistering op-ed in Sunday's Miami Herald blaming lawmakers for eroding progress on restoration efforts for the state's famed River of Grass:
The Everglades is in danger again. This time it is not from a drought, hurricane or other act of nature. It is not from some imminent encroaching development.
It is from the 2011 Florida Legislature and its cascade of damaging legislation which threatens to bring the three-decade-long effort to save the Everglades to a halt.
Everglades restoration is not just a matter of saving one of the Earth’s most important and unique environments and protecting the fresh water supply for a third of Florida’s residents. Everglades restoration is our state’s largest job and economic development program. A 2011 report by Mather Economics to the Everglades Foundation estimated that investing $11.5 billion in Everglades restoration (equally divided between the federal government and the state of Florida) will result in $46.5 billion in gains to Florida’s economy and create in excess of 440,000 jobs in the next 50 years. More here.
Today, a bi-partisan group of legislators will announce the first ever Everglades coalition at a press conference in Boynton Beach. Members include Rep. Steve Perman, D-Boca Raton and Sen. Thad Altman, R-Viera.