Clean Water Advocates Demand State Pay Attention To Resources

TALLAHASSEE - When it comes to having enough clean water, Bay County is different than most other places in the state. Tuesday, a coalition of clean water advocates demanded the state pay attention to water resources.

Advocates could be waiting at least another year for any action.

Dozens of citizens from across the state flooded the steps of Tallahassee's old capitol. The group is demanding the state legislature address Florida's water quality and supply troubles

"It is absolutely unacceptable to have thousands of fish, hundreds of seabirds, hundreds of dolphins and hundreds of manatees dying from water pollution. This is a government problem," said David Guest, an environmental lawyer.

Environmentalists stood with lawmakers to sign the Floridian's Clean Water declaration. The campaign outlines what they say is every citizen's right to clean drinking water, fishing water, and springs.

"We can make sure that future generations have what's necessary to be able to feed our families, have the clean water we want, and still invite tourists to our beaches each and every year," said Rep. Heather Dawes Fitzenhagen of Fort Myers.

While supporters point to algae ridden springs and green rivers around the state, House Speaker Will Weatherford has already said water policy most likely won't be making waves this year.

"I think there are a lot of issues on speaker weatherford's plate for him to close out. He understands that speaker designate Crisafulli has been a leader on this," said Rep. Alan Williams of Tallahssee.

Change isn't expected until house speaker in waiting Steve Crisafulli takes over for the 2015 session.

Gov. Rick Scott has asked lawmakers to budget $55 million for Florida Springs restoration.