Waterkeepers in Tallahassee 2019-03-13

Three of the Waterkeepers of Florida were at the Capitol in Tallahassee Wednesday, two of them for Reclaiming Florida’s Future for All, an annual event organized by ReThink Energy Florida and others. Of course Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) was prominently represented. Banning fracking was top of the long list of issues on the agenda. Water Quality and Quantity included Valdosta (and other) wastewater.


Lake Worth Waterkeeper Reinaldo Diaz advocates for the Lake Worth Lagoon and its watershed, a coastal estuary running along the eastern edge of Palm Beach County.

[Lisa Rinaman et al.]
Lisa Rinaman et al.

Scariest of all to polluters is St Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman, seen here with four of her colleagues, who were on their own three-day visit to the Florida statehouse.

[Kristin Rubin, Sarah Younger, Jim Tatum, Rep. Watson, Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, Mike Roth]
Kristin Rubin, Sarah Younger, Jim Tatum, Rep. Watson, Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, Mike Roth

Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) was of course on top of the fracking ban, for example here with their Representative Clovis Watson, District 20.

[Jim Tatum, jsq, Chuck Brannan, Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, Kristin Rubin, Jane]
Jim Tatum, jsq, Chuck Brannan, Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, Kristin Rubin, Jane

Here Rep. Chuck Brannan, District 10 (Baker, Columbia, Hamilton, Suwannee, and part of Alachua Counties), is holding the Suwannee Riverkeeper list of Valdosta sewage spills for the calendar years 2015 through 2018 (see PDF).

[All Valdosta sewage spills 2015-2018]
All Valdosta sewage spills 2015-2018

I will follow up with him on this via email. Yes, this is the seat Merrillee ran for, but they seem to be getting along well.

I also visited the offices of the other Florida state representatives and senators for the Suwannee River Basin, except of course for district 7 (Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, Jefferson, Lafayette, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla and part of Leon), which is vacant until the general election of 18 June 2019.

[Suwannee Riverkeeper and Lake Worth Waterkeeper]
Suwannee Riverkeeper and Lake Worth Waterkeeper

Reinaldo and I visited each others’ legislative offices about matters of joint concern, such as water quality testing. For example, we had a nice long chat with a staffer in Senator Bill Montford’s office (District 3, Hamilton, Madison, Taylor, Jefferson, and other counties), and I have already sent her a followup email. First of course we thanked the Senator for SB 1100: Water Testing for Pollution, which is on the agenda for the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, 4PM, this Wednesday, 20 March 2019. Sen. Montford is the Chair of that Committee.

I will also be following up with several legislators about LNG export.

There are more pictures on the WWALS website.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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