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Environmental community scores big in Florida House on Tuesday

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Everglades FoundationAudubon Florida, the Nature Conservancy, and the H2O Coalition of the Associated Industries of Florida.

What do all of these political players have in common?

They scored a massive victory Tuesday all thanks to the Florida House of Representatives.

A loud symphony of applause came in the form of a three-page news release where countless groups praised and thanked House Speaker Steve Crisafulli for his support and commitment toward dedicating funding to “Legacy Florida,” a measure that includes cleanup for the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee, CERP and other water-related initiatives.

“It’s great to see the Florida House of Representatives, under the leadership of Speaker Crisafulli and Representative [GayleHarrell, taking initiative to support a dedicated source of funding for the Everglades. Restoring and protecting Florida’s Everglades is a top priority,” said Gov. Rick Scott in a prepared statement. “We look forward to working with the Legislature, including Senator Joe Negron who has championed water issues, this upcoming session to establish long-term funding for our state’s most precious natural resource.”

Crisafulli, who has been vocal about wanting to leave a lasting legacy of significant water policy, has clearly made good on his promise, with the rumor mill coming out of the Senate that it will be welcome to the concept.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam also praised Crisafulli’s leadership in the Legacy Florida initiative.

“The Everglades is a nationally recognized, environmental treasure that is a source of pride for Floridians, provides a home to many unique species of wildlife and supplies water to more than 8 million people in Florida. We have the vision and science-based strategies to restore this precious ecosystem, but only with adequate funding can we achieve our goals,” Putnam said. “The leadership of the Florida House of Representatives, led by Speaker Steve Crisafulli, has demonstrated a strong commitment to Florida’s natural resources with the ‘Legacy Florida’ proposal, which will establish a dedicated source of funding to restore the Everglades.”

In addition to Crisafulli, the clear winner of the day, has anyone else seen three pages of “attaboy” quotes from environmentalists all in one release? Kudos also to Everglades Foundation board members Paul Tudor Jones and Mary Barley, both recently appearing in INFLUENCE’s list of 100 Most Influential People in Florida politics, as well as CEO Eric Eikenberg and power lobbyist Nick Iarossi.

Although it is still early, and any appropriations deal is far from cemented, if this dedicated funding for the Everglades is passed and ultimately signed by the Governor, then it will make for an extraordinary Legislative Session for environmental groups.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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