Governor Rick Scott is proposing the state spend five times more than it did last year to protect springs in Florida. Environmentalists are both applauding the money , and criticizing the Governor for being lax on polluters.
This 1980 photograph of Wakulla Springs shows crystal clear water. Today, manatees frolic, but the water is dark and cloudy. Water quality has caused Glass bottom boat tours to drop from thirty or forty weeks a year to just three last year.
Governor Rick Scott used an employee recognition ceremony to announce increased spending on springs protection. The state will seek ideas on how to spend the money. Identifying the cause isn’t a problem. "We're going to invest 55 million dollars to protect Florida's springs."
Hershel Vineyard, Florida’s DEP Secretary knows what the cause is. Secretary. "It's septic tanks, it's run off from our urban communities, it's excessive fertilizer, it's waste water treatment plants."
The Governor's ask of 55 million dollars is more than five times what was spent last year.
Eric Draper, Executive Director of Audubon Florida Audubon Florida lobbied for the increased cash. "This year we hope that they will do more to protect the right around the springs as well as replace septic tanks and get the sewage that's going into springs right now out of the springs."
David Guest of Earth Justice says the new money wouldn’t be needed it the state did its job in the first place. "This is the Governor who has the polluters write their own rules, it comes as no surprise that throughout the state of Florida the water bodies are turning to green slim.
In 2010, the state enacted legislation to clean up leaking septic tanks. The program was defunded a year later and repealed in 2012. The time for developers to get a permit in Florida has dropped dramatically under Rick Scott and employees get bonuses for speed