MARTIN COUNTY DEMOCRATIC ENVIRONMENTAL CAUCUS
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The Martin County Democratic Environmental Caucus is a local chapter of the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida (DECF). The caucus meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month, currently via Zoom.
Meetings consist of general discussion about environmental issues in the news and how we might respond. More specifically, among other concerns, we address city of Stuart matters, activity of Martin County Board of County Commissioners, and work of the state legislature and beyond.
Most meetings include a guest speaker to enlighten us about a particular environmental topic or to hear directly from a local Democratic official or candidate running for office.
We welcome all Democrats to be a part of our caucus as we learn, speak up for and work to defend our environment. To get involved in our group, fill out the Contact Form indicating your interest in MC Dem Env Caucus and someone will get back with you.
MC Democratic Environmental Caucus
Martin County Democratic Environmental Caucus intends to:
Identify and prioritize environmental concerns that affect our local municipalities, county, state, country, and world.
Contemplate solutions to those concerns and recommend courses of action
Educate, collaborate with and endorse Democratic candidates who embrace our agenda
Educate the public and generate support for our goals
Coordinate with other environmental groups within our legislative districts: Senate district 25 and House districts 82 and 83
As a chapter of the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida (DECF) we in MC Dem Env Caucus also support DECF’s goals.
Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida
The Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida (DECF) strives to support Florida lawmakers, candidates, legislation and businesses that preserve, protect and enhance Florida’s natural resources. The DECF concerns may include but are not limited to Florida’s air quality, shorelines and coasts, aquifers, waterways, wetlands, wildlife, remaining natural areas and publicly owned wild lands and parks.
DECF intends to:
Help elect Democratic candidates who endorse suitable action on critical environmental issues.
Provide party members and the general public credible data relating to environmentally sensitive issues as informed opinion, legislative alerts and technical/science expertise.
Monitor local and state legislation and policy that affect Florida’s environment, and alert legislators and the public.
Encourage responsible environmental stewardship as part of Florida Democratic Party policy.
Top Environmental Issues
With Florida’s increasing population and with our local and state governments sometimes choosing growth and development and corporate interests over protecting our environment, the issues we face are endless. Here is a sampling of the concerns we address in our caucus:
Lake Okeechobee discharges
Everglades restoration, including Storm Water Treatment Areas (STAs), the EAA reservoir, CERP completion
Pollutants entering our waterways -- fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides with glyphosate, agricultural waste, biosolids, nonpoint source pollution
Environmental threats due to city and county development as well as local and state legislation
Wildlife habitat degradation, including dwindling sea grasses for manatees and the accumulation of muck in our waterways, which reduces oyster bed production and water quality
Climate change and rising sea level
Oil drilling, fracking, and deep-water injection wells
Transportation of hazardous materials (pipelines, high-speed rail transport of LNG and other hazardous materials)
CALL TO ACTION !
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CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT (added 2-2-2023)
There is a constitutional amendment effort underway with the title Right to Clean and Healthy Waters.
Go here to read about the amendment and information on how to sign the petition. The organization behind this effort is trying to get 900,000 signatures by the end of November 2023. This would allow this initiative to be counted before February 2024 and, therefore, to qualify for being placed on the ballot in 2024.
Prewritten letters are quick and easy ways to make your voice heard--just sign and submit. Please note that in some cases you will be put on the sponsoring environmental group's email subscription list when you submit your letter/petition, so be sure to uncheck the subscription box (if it's there) before you submit it if you don't want to be on their distribution list.
If you forget to do that, you can always unsubscribe later.
Sierra Club has a prewritten letter advocating passage of the Recovering America's Wildlife Act.. Go here to submit the letter.
Sierra Club has a prewritten letter advocating passage of the Environmental Justice for All Act. Go here to submit the letter.
EarthJustice, a nonprofit environmental law organization, previously submitted a legal petition to the EPA to stop the use of organophosphates in agriculture. To support this effort, they now have a prewritten letter you can submit asking the EPA to ban organophosphates. Click here to go to the website to submit the letter. If you'd like to read the original legal petition, go here. Also, FYI, they have their own Action Alerts section on their website. Many of those we already have covered here on our page, but there are some items we haven't. If you'd like, go here to see their Action Alerts.
Friends of the Everglades has a letter for Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried which discusses harmful effects of sugarcane burning and asks her to ban the burning. Go here to read the letter.
Friends of the Earth has a letter going to EPA about banning neonicotinoids, which are pesticides that harm humans and invertebrate pollinator species, including bees and butterflies. (If you don't want to remain on their email list, unsubscribe after submitting letter.)
Contact the Dept of the Interior about Florida manatees dying at record levels and ask that manatees be put back on the Endangered Species list. The current secretary is Deb Haaland. Go here for contact info and to complete online letter. You may also want to contact other officials about this and can get a list of federal, state, and local officials and their addresses here.
Florida Conservation Voters has a petition demanding Gov DeSantis and the legislature follow recommendations of the Blue-Green Task Force: https://fcvoters.org/take-action/blue-green-algae-task-force/
President Biden: Be a #PlasticFreePresident...A diverse coaltion of 550+ organizations has created a petition asking President Biden to use his executive powers to fight the plastic pollution crisis. To sign the petition, go here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/president-biden-be-a-plasticfreepresident To read in depth about the executive actions asked for in the petition, go here: https://www.plasticfreepresident.org/
Sign the "Stop Overdevelopment in Martin County" petition!
Go to FloridaRighttoCleanWater to sign a petition for putting Right to Clean and Healthy Waters amendment on the 2024 ballot.
WRITE YOUR OWN LETTER
Educate and influence the public. Choose a topic and write a Letter to the Editor to the Stuart News and/or Palm Beach Post. See this for links to each newspaper's online LTE form.
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES/MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
A summary of the ongoing pollution of Florida's waterways was presented by Earthjustice back on July 2021. The focus is on the toxic algae crisis and its harm to wildlife. Go here to read this analysis.
A recent Protecting Paradise segment on WPTV focused on the need to complete the building of STAs so that toxic water can be cleaned and then sent south to the Everglades.
Read The Everglades Review, put together by Everglades Trust, for detailed articles on such subjects as objections to LOSOM Plan CC by Big Sugar, the economic value of strong ecosystems, and helping the manatees survive.
Friends of the Everglades periodically hosts webinars on various environment-related topics. View their archives of these Clean Water Conversations here. Topics include red tide, LOSOM, toxic algae, the legislative session for 2021, the Roads to Ruin, drilling in the Everglade