A coalition of the state's top environmental organizations on Tuesday launched a petition drive to put an amendment on the November 2014 ballot that would guarantee a stable source of money for environmental protection.
The effort, organized by a group calling itself the Florida Water and Land Legacy Campaign, aims to end the years of eroding funding for environmental perservation and protection programs prompted by legislative budget cuts and shifts in priorities away from environmental protection.
Since 2009, legislators have cut funding for the state's Florida Forever program by 97.5 percent to $23 million for land management and ecological restoration, including the Everglades. This year, the Legislature reduced water protection and conservation funds dropped to $8.5 million.
“This will be the most significant vote in Florida for our environment in our lifetimes,” said Will Abberger, the campaign’s chair and the director of conservation finance for the Trust for Public Land in a statement. “We are launching a grassroots effort to let the people decide if clean water and natural land are a legacy we want to leave for our children and grandchildren – and generations to come.”