When looking into the debate regarding the Everglades land purchase option now facing the Florida Legislature there’s a uncomfortable fact that environmental groups are trying to avoid as they continue attempts to strong-arm the Florida Legislature into a 46,800 acre land purchase: The environmental groups involved have a dirty agenda.
Because the State and Federal efforts thus far to restore and protect the Everglades are already working, seeming to make the efforts of these groups something other than restoration and protection of the Everglades.
It is well known to many Floridians that decades ago phosphorus levels of water flowing into the Everglades often reached triple digits. Now, due to State and Federal Restoration efforts, and the support of sugar farmers, phosphorus levels throughout the Everglades National Park are only 4 parts per billion! State standards for phosphorus are 10 parts per billion. Federal standards for phosphorus are between 8 to 14 parts per billion. This means Everglades water exceeds federal and state water quality standards, and is now apparently cleaner than Evian.
So if the water is already clean, and the programs in place are already working, why are these environmentalists pushing so hard to get the land purchased? If their mission is concern for the Everglades water quality they should be cheering, right? Mission Accomplished!
Sadly that response is not the case. Activist groups such as The Everglades Foundation and the Everglades Trust continue to push on what seems to be a dirty agenda: Government ownership of land strictly for ownership’s sake. Also historically known as collectivization Despite the lack of a land use plan, or significant data on how (or even if) the purchase of 46,800 acres of land could help the Everglades Restoration efforts, environmental activist groups are attempting to push legislators spending over $500 million of taxpayers dollars on that option.
Groups such as the Everglades Foundation, Everglades Trust, The Sierra Club and other environmental activist organizations solicit donors based on a perceived environmental issue or emergency. They raise sums of money, hundreds of thousands and sometimes MILLIONS of dollars, from concerned donors to “solve” the perceived issue or emergency. In addition to the money raised from donors, many of these environmental groups are given monetary grants (sometimes in the MILLIONS of dollars) to identify, study, and lobby for the perceived environmental issue or emergency. Shockingly, there is little to no oversight from the government on the organization after the grant has been issued!
In the 1995 report “Feeding at the Trough – The Environmental Movement’s Government Grants, Tax Subsidies, Leveraged Incomes, and Controversial Expenditures”, the cumulative total of government grants to only 35 environmental groups over a 4 year period totaled $156,644,352.00! These are massive sums of money given to environmental organizations, but ONLY if the issues and emergencies still exist. In the case of the Everglades Restoration, clean water and thriving Everglades means dollars for the activist groups dries up!
To prevent the seemingly dirty agenda of the environmental groups pushing for the Everglades Land Purchase, the group Florida Citizens Against Waste is standing in opposition to the land purchase. Networking with concerned residents across the state, FCAW is circulating a petition online in support of the State’s efforts that are already funded and demonstrably working, as well as urging the Florida Legislators to employ wisdom and fiscal responsibility with taxpayer dollars.
Most Floridians, care deeply for the health and beauty of our state. For those who are boaters, fishermen, photographers, and nature-lovers, the Everglades are an amazing part of our state. Most Floridians are also smart enough to recognize a scam or dirty agenda. An unnecessary, massive expenditure of taxpayer dollars that will do little or nothing to supplement programs already resulting in clean water, would seem to be easy to spot as a dirty agenda. At least, that’s the way I see it, perhaps you do too. Give your opinion in the poll below!
Publisher’s note: If you should like to get a copy of the report “Feeding at the Trough – The Environmental Movement’s Government Grants, Tax Subsidies, Leveraged Incomes, and Controversial Expenditures”, you can order it at CENTER FOR THE DEFENSE OF FREE ENTERPRISE, Liberty Park, 12500 N.E. Tenth Place, Bellevue, WA 98005. It is only 28 pages, but is a fascinating read!