Target: Tamara Whittington, Superintendent of Big Cypress National Preserve
Goal: Don’t allow fracking or drilling to jeopardize the Everglades.
Big Oil has set its sights on yet another tract of precious public land: the Florida Everglades. The National Park Service is considering allowing seismic testing in preparation for fracking and drilling operations in this fragile ecosystem. Over 70,000 acres of crucial wildlife habitat are at risk within Big Cypress National Preserve.
Bordering Everglades National Park, Big Cypress is a slightly more elevated portion of the greater ecosystem known as the Everglades. The preserve contains more biodiversity than any other terrestrial part of the Everglades system, hosting federally listed endangered species, such as the Florida panther and west Indian manatee, among its multitude of flora and fauna. Indigenous people also have a stake in Big Cypress. The Miccosukee tribe has lived in the area for generations, after their ancestors fled to the Everglades to escape European settlers.
Seismic testing alone is a disruptive process in which multiple 60,000-pound trucks would drive across the surface of the land vibrating large metal plates against the ground. If the tests reveal the presence of oil and natural gas deposits, the drilling and fracking that will follow are sure to cause even more environmental damage. Urge the superintendent of Big Cypress National Preserve to protect the Everglades and reject proposals to explore for oil and gas.
Dear Superintendent Whittington,
I am concerned about Burnett Oil company’s intention to perform seismic testing for oil and gas at Big Cypress National Preserve. As I’m sure you know, Big Cypress is one of the most ecologically diverse areas in the country. It is home to nine different endangered species, including the seriously imperiled Florida panther.
The seismic testing Burnett wants to conduct will be harmful in and of itself. The tests will involve multiple 60,000-pound trucks vibrating heavy metal plates against the ground to search for oil and gas. If the tests are successful, however, the damage will severely escalate. Big Oil is reported to be interested in expanding drilling through 230,000 acres of Big Cypress.
Indigenous people are also speaking out against the proposal. Members of the Miccosukee tribe call the Everglades home, and the land has strong cultural significance to them. We cannot allow the interests of Big Oil to trample on the needs of wildlife and the rights of people. You have the power to put a stop to these dangerous proposals before it’s too late. Please protect the Everglades and say “no” to drilling and fracking at Big Cypress.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: George Gentry