by Janice Garry
What right is even more fundamental than freedom of speech, or freedom of religion or right to bear arms?
It is the right to turn on the faucet and have water that is not toxic to drink.
Or to swim in springs that are not contaminated with fecal material.
Or to go fishing and not catch fish that are toxin-laden from polluted water.
Or to not read about 1,000 manatees dying in a single year because their sea grass was killed by nutrient pollution that fed algae blooms.
Or to go to the beach and not become ill from breathing the air spoiled by thousands of fish killed by nutrient-fueled red tide. And on and on.
That is why Florida needs a constitutional right to clean and healthy water. And that is why the Right to Clean Water statewide initiative (see: floridarighttocleanwater.org/) is working to get a constitutional amendment on the 2024 ballot.
Current laws and regulations in Florida were largely written with lobbyists in the room who were protecting, not the water, but corporate profits. A constitutional amendment to make clean and healthy water a fundamental right of Floridians and put the impetus on state agencies to not “harm or threaten to harm” any Florida water entity would change the trajectory of what is protected. Follow the link to read the text of the amendment; to read about the smart, committed people running a constitutional amendment petition drive and to see the petition.
Then ride the wave of this fundamentally important petition drive. Contact Janice Garry (firstname.lastname@example.org) to sign a petition, to obtain petitions for friends and family to sign and to support the campaign. Citizen ballot initiatives are harder than ever to get on the ballot. But we can do it. We can ban together to salvage Florida’s waters for ourselves and for generations of human and non-human species.
Send me a message. I’ll be waiting.