Target: Florida State Legislature
Goal: Ensure long-term funding for environmental protection and restoration
The beauty and vibrancy of Florida’s once pristine environment continues to steadily erode into the ever more distant past. Desperate to curb this appalling ecological attrition, a group of environmental groups have joined together, calling for an amendment to be placed on the November 2014 ballot, which would require a stable source of funding for environmental protection efforts.
In recent years, budget cuts and short-sighted funding prioritization have slashed monetary support of the state’s Florida Forever program, the largest state land conservation program in the country (responsible for over ten million acres). Since 2009, a massive 97.5 percent of the funding disappeared for land management and ecological restoration. Huge cuts were also made to lower water protection and conservation funds.
Beginning in July 2015, the amendment would ensure one-third of net revenues from existing excise taxes be used to fund the Florida Forever program. Improved, stable, long-term funding would help restore the fragile Everglades and protect presently diminishing water sources.
The plan would also generate over $10 billion for water and land conservation during the 20-year plan. Furthermore, this will all be achieved without any tax increase burden placed upon Florida citizens. As a state with a variety of richly diverse habitats, and a historic commitment to protecting them, Florida’s representatives must give their constituents a chance to save the land they are a part of.
Sign this petition and demand that appropriate steps are taken so that steady environmental funding in Florida will come to fruition.
Dear Florida State Legislature,
As funding to the Florida Forever program continues to erode, the quality and well-being of your natural environment erodes along with it. Just in the past several years, funding for land management and restoration endured a devastating 97.5 percent decrease. Water protection and conservation funding also experienced radical reductions.
A stable funding solution using existing excise tax revenues has now been proposed as a ballot amendment by a large group of environmental organizations (including Trust for Public Land, Audubon Florida, the Florida Wildlife Federation, the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, 1000 Friends of Florida, Defenders of Wildlife and more).
The plan would provide a source of solid, long-term funding without implementing any new taxes on Florida citizens. Effective starting in July 2015, and lasting 20 years, it would raise $10 billion for water and land conservation.
This is the sort of solution that can, and hopefully will, improve your once lively ecosystem, including the world-renowned Everglades. I urge you to acknowledge the significance of this effort and do all within your legislative power to ensure that this ballot measure is given the chance to save your increasingly degraded environment.
[Your Name Here]