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Environmental Priorities 2024

Oil drilling has placed the Gulf of Mexico, an area of high environmental sensitivity and marine productivity, at risk. Presently, the region supports numerous species of wildlife, major commercial and recreational fisheries, and several endangered animal species. ManaSota-88 supports permanently prohibiting the conduct of offshore drilling on the outer Continental Shelf of the State of Florida. There is no need to rush to develop non-renewable natural resources, less environmentally damaging fuels should be used. 
Reducing Toxic Pesticide Use in Florida Schools
Pesticides, by their very nature, are poisons. They are designed to be toxic to a particular plant or animal. Unfortunately, pesticides also pose a danger to human health. Adopting statewide legislation supporting Integrated Pest Management programs in the schools is a positive step in reducing pesticides' toxic chemical effects on human health.
Braden River Fish Decline
There has been a significant decline in fish populations in the Braden River located in Manatee County, Florida. An immediate investigation of the causes of these declines is needed.
A priority in managing the Braden River should be protecting essential habitat values and maintaining and improving a productive aquatic community. The lack of historical water quality data and the lack of a plan to collect future water quality data for the Braden River is a significant issue. 
Conservation Easement Compliance Study
An evaluation of conservation easements in Sarasota and Manatee counties needs to be surveyed to determine the status of compliance with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection permitting criteria. The location and number of sites inspected will depend on available funding and site access.
Hurricane Evacuation Time Disclosures for Coastal Development is Needed
Disclosure of hurricane evacuation times before purchasing or renting residential property is a significant step toward public safety and awareness. Prospective buyers and renters have the right to know and should be informed, whether they can or cannot safely evacuate from the property they are considering purchasing or renting.   
Air Quality and Growth Need to be Linked Together
Florida needs to link air quality and growth to comprehensive land use planning. Florida is especially vulnerable to the consequences of climate change due to its over 8,000 miles of tidal shoreline, with nearly 79% of its population living in coastal counties. Scientific evidence for global warming can no longer be ignored. 
Florida Needs to Promote “Green Jobs”
“Green" corporate investments do lead to growth in certain job categories. As demand for green business strategies increases in building, mass transit, automobiles, wind and solar power, and biofuel production, so will the need for skilled talent.
Florida Needs to Adopt a Clean Energy Policy 
A date certain should be adopted by which energy-producing utilities must use a certain percentage of renewable energy sources, such as solar. The conservation requirements of electric utilities must be strengthened. We can conserve significant amounts of energy to help meet the nation's goals while developing renewable energy resources.
Drinking Water Quality Monitoring Needs to be Improved
Currently, there are no groundwater or drinking water standards for Giardiasis, Cryptosporidiosis, or other pathogens except for fecal coliform, all of which can cause serious health threats. Monitoring for viruses in groundwater drinking water sources is virtually nonexistent. 
Restore Environment Program Funding
Priorities of state funding for environmental protection are near an all-time low. It is unfortunate that the inaction of Florida legislatures to fund environmental and public health legislation adequately will impact Floridians for years to come. 
Restore Environmental Permitting Programs
Quality of life issues, particularly at the rate of growth Florida is experiencing, are important and should continue to be looked at. Since Florida residents' health, welfare, and quality of life are closely tied to efficient permitting activity, the Legislature needs to review environmental regulatory funding priorities.
Agricultural Land Conversions
Educating policymakers and landowners involved in setting priorities associated with the agricultural industry will be critical in protecting our natural resources.  What truly is needed is policy, both on the state and local levels that will protect the environmental integrity of the land and encourage the rebuilding of what has previously been destroyed.
Glenn Compton is the Chairman of ManaSota 88, a non-profit organization that has spent over 30 years fighting to protect the environment of Manatee and Sarasota counties.


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