Target: Palm Beach Gardens Code Compliance Department
Goal: End the clearing of an important refuge for threatened wildlife and rare species
Officials in Palm Beach County, Florida plan to clear a large chunk of Briger Forest, a rare wetland forest near the Everglades as part of the Scripps Phase II Project, a proposed plan for a massive biotech research facility for the Scripps Research Institute. To make matters worse, animal testing will serve as a cornerstone of the research conducted at the proposed biotech facility.
The 682 acre Briger Forest is one of the largest remaining tracts of unprotected land in southeastern Florida and is a known home to several threatened and endangered plant and animal species, including the eastern indigo snake and the gopher tortoise. Besides the area’s year-round residents, Briger Forest is also an important haven for migrating bird populations.
Briger Forest is important to the animal species which call it home, as well as the humans living in the surrounding area. Briger Forest provides a pollution buffer for residents, a valuable source of information for local environmental researchers, and a freely-accessible community resource.
Scripps Research Institute has an established history of relying on animal testing, and the three million square foot Scripps “biocity” would rely heavily on animal subjects for research. Besides the massive research facility, the project will include an additional 500,000 square feet of retail space and 2,700 residential units — both hardly necessary in the already sprawling suburban landscape of southern Florida.
Dear Palm Beach Gardens Code Compliance Department,
Briger Forest is an important wetland forest in southern Florida, one that is home of several threatened and endangered species. Palm Beach County’s Spripps Phase II project calls for the destruction of a huge section of Briger Forest in order to build a massive biotech research facility, retail space and residential units.
Not only is Briger Forest one of the largest tracts of unprotected land in southeastern Florida and a home to endangered species like the eastern indigo snake, the forest also serves as a pollution buffer and parkland, thereby improving the quality of life for the community. Briger Forest also provides a seasonal home to several species of migratory birds as they move during the colder months.
Please choose to put the resources, animal and plant life, and the human residents of your community ahead of the promise of more development and more unnecessary sprawl. Please choose to terminate the Scripps Phase II project and cease the clearing of Briger Forest.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: “Unknown” via Wikimedia Commons