Heads up Parrotheads! Margaritaville meets Florida politics next week in Tallahassee at the historic Capitol.
Buffett, who has developed a legion of “Parrothead” followers, is no stranger to Tallahassee even though it’s far off the path of his beloved Florida Highway A1A along the Atlantic beaches.
He campaigned in Tallahassee in October for Democrat Gwen Graham during her successful challenge to U. S. Rep. Steve Southerland, a Republican from Panama City.
And while Buffett has been snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he is a member of the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, recognized for his devotion in music and activism for the Sunshine State. He is co-founder (with former U. S. Sen. Bob Graham) of the Save the Manatee Club.
The Everglades Coalition, which is hosting the rally, has been collecting petition signatures in support of the purchase of U. S. Sugar Corp. land south of Lake Okeechobee.
“Jimmy has always been a passionate advocate for the Everglades,” said Cara Capp, national co-chair of the Everglades Foundation. “What the Everglades Foundation is trying to do is reach all our decision-makers and remind them of how important restoration is to our state.”
The state secured an option to buy 46,000 acres there in 2010. But U. S. Sugar now is balking at a deal, saying the state has made other restoration plans that don’t involve the company’s land.
Last week, environmental groups supporting the purchase launched commercials and released a petition from scientists in support of the proposal.
A University of Florida study for the House earlier this month said more water storage south of Lake Okeechobee is needed for Everglades restoration.
Bruce Ritchie (@bruceritchie) covers environment, energy and growth management in Tallahassee.