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 !
Click on each of the four sections below or scroll down to view the entire page.
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.
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.)
The Everglades Trust has a letter that will go to state and local officials asking them to proactively support clean water initiatives, including the complete restoration of the Everglades. After you sign and submit, the letter goes to the governor, 2 members of the FL cabinet, your senator, and your representative.
Friends of the Earth has a letter to Home Depot and Lowe's asking them to stop selling Roundup NOW. This letter was written in response to recent news that Bayer-Monsanto will remove glyphosate sold to US consumers starting in 2023, and so the letter is demanding action now, not in two more years. Go here for details and to sign the letter.
Send prewritten letter to Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried asking her to end the practice of Big Sugar's burning of their sugarcane crops. This practice is bad for human health and bad for the environment. The solution? Green cane harvesting. For details and to complete the form letter written by The Everglades Trust, go here.
Last year the Trump administration weakened the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by rolling back provisions that allowed communities to know about and provide input on proposed infrastructure projects. At the time, many considered this one of the biggest assaults on environmental law we've seen. The Biden administration has not yet reversed this change. Friends of the Earth, a grassroots environmental group, has an online letter you can send to the administration asking for this to be reversed.
It is important that funding for Everglades restoration be approved. The American Jobs Plan includes $5 billion for the Everglades, but as we all know, often those figures are adjusted during the negotiations to get bills passed. Send a letter to President Biden asking that full funding for the Everglades be included in the bill. Also scroll to bottom and send a separate letter to Scott, Rubio, and Mast asking for their support for this bill. These letters were put together by the Everglades Trust.
Friends of the Everglades has a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers ready for you to sign. The message is to modify Plan CC by sending more water from Lake O south. Click here for letter.
Captains for Clean Water has letter to USACE about improving LOSOM Plan CC. Click here for 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 an email you can send Gov DeSantis and elected officials about water quality and blue-green algae. It lists multiple ways to prevent pollution of our waterways and urges government to focus on these recommendations. Complete the form and submit your letter.
Contact your Florida legislator to ask that they play fair during the redistricting process. Stop gerrymandering!! Florida Conservation Voters has a Fair Districts pledge you can send your legislator. For maximum impact, personalize for each of your legislators. Click here for form letter.
Disney is planning to build a half-mile long pier at Lighthouse Point in the Bahamas. Environmentalists say this will be detrimental to the coral reefs and sea creatures that inhabit this biologically diverse habitat. Friends of the Earth has a petition you can sign asking Disney to stop going forward with this plan. (By completing the petition, FoE will put you on their email list, but you can later unsubscribe.)
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/
Friends of the Everglades is urging USACE, SFWMD, and elected officials to send more clean water south during the dry season. Citing public health issues, harm to marine life, and harm to Florida's economy due to the polluted waters, Friends has a FIX THE FLO petition you can sign which asks these groups to stop toxic discharges by sending clean water south. Click here....See the petition at the bottom of their webpage.
Sign the "Stop Overdevelopment in Martin County" petition!
Go to FL5.org to sign petitions for putting 5 conservation amendments on the 2022 ballot. The petitions are for the Right to Clean Water, Florida Iconic Species Protection, Captive Wildlife Hunting Ban, FL Wetlands Protection, and Stop New Toll Roads.
WRITE YOUR OWN LETTER
To write your own letter to USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers) about the changes you want to see in Plan CC, send your email to LakeOComments@usace.army.mil
Contact Gov DeSantis to urge him to declare a state of emergency over the cyanobacteria bloom in Lake O. Tell DeSantis to request USACE and SFWMD to move excess water in Lake O south now so that discharges to the St. Lucie, Lake Worth, and Caloosahatchee estuaries will not be needed.
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 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 Everglades, and much more. .