How will you ensure that the restoration of the Everglades does not become simply an urban water supply plan? 

Having lost more than half of its acreage to urban development and agriculture in the last 100 years, the Everglades is in danger of disappearing altogether.  Lawmakers are proposing a $7.8 billion, 20-year engineering plan to provide more water for the natural Everglades as well as the area’s expanding population.  The plan also assumes, however, that South Florida’s population will double or triple from 5.5 million to 12-15 million by the year 2050, but does not demand sound land-use plans or water conservation programs.  An effective plan must secure the long-term goal of restoring the Everglades and protect state and local efforts to allocate water supplies.

For more information contact www.sierraclub.org.



Development near National Parks

What will you do to ensure that any redevelopment of the Homestead Air Reserve Base is ecologically consistent with the goals of Everglades restoration?

Restoration of the Everglades is perhaps the most significant environmental initiative in the nation, enjoying wide nonpartisan support.  However, the U.S. Air Force is considering moving ahead with plans for a large-scale commercial airport at the edge of the Florida Everglades.  If allowed, the Homestead Airport would be the closest major commercial airport to a national park anywhere in the United States, just 1 1/2 miles from Biscayne National Park, 8 1/2 miles from Everglades National Park and 10 miles from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.  Studies show that the 236,000 annual flights would cause air and water contamination, urban sprawl, and noise pollution.   

For more information contact www.nrdc.org.


Clean Water and Clean Air 

What efforts will you take to protect the Ichetucknee River, part of the largest pure water aquifer in the world? 

Located in the heart of North Central Florida, the Ichetucknee River is a place where visitors can see Florida in its natural state.  County commissioners, however, recently approved the site plan for a $130 million cement manufacturing plant only 3.8 miles from the river.  The plant would emit pollutants like mercury, dioxins, particulates and nitrates into the air and river, and would burn 5.2 tons of tires per hour.  

For more information contact www.ichetucknee.org.


Urban Sprawl and Coastline Development

Do you see an expanded or contracted role for the state in setting growth management standards? 

Unrestrained development of Florida’s coastlines has contributed to the destruction of coastal estuaries for decades.  This overcrowding on the coasts forces development into the fragile interior of the state, reducing the quantity and quality of Florida’s natural areas.  The state’s recently appointed Growth Management Study commission will review proposals that would return Florida to the outdated growth management policies that led to its unchecked growth.  Such policy would result in an unenforceable patchwork of local codes that ignores sprawl and favors unrestricted development.

For more information contact www.sierraclub.org.


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