TALLAHASSEE-- Environmentalists are still pushing the legislature to spend Amendment One money in different ways and recruited some star power to get their message out. Law makers were surrounded by Parrot Heads Tuesday as Jimmy Buffett lobbied for water restoration.
Lead Parrot Head Jimmy Buffett played for about 30 minutes for ralliers in the Capitol Courtyard. Buffett was trying to get lawmakers to change their tune about land buying.
"Governor, legislature, do the right thing here," Buffett said. "We want to some buy some precious latitude south of the Everglades."
The state has a deal in place with U.S. Sugar that would allow Florida to purchase more than 46,000 acres of land, which could help restore Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades. Eric Rollings said the cause was important enough to travel to the Capitol from Orange County.
"It's critical, it's critical, we are putting so much strain," Rollings said. "We had 97.3 million visitors last year, which is great. We have 20 million residents and they keep on coming."
The Everglades Foundation says there's no reason to go back on the deal now.
"We have to keep as much water on the peninsula," CEO of the Everglades Foundation Eric Eikenberg said. "Everglades restoration is about doing that, those that try to say we don't need more land. That's narrow minded."
While Jimmy Buffett rallied people in the courtyard, environmentalists said there's still a long way to go until the end of session. Environmental groups have been crying foul over legislature Amendment One plans. Audubon Florida says buying the Glades land would get them back on track.
"Everglades cultural area was right there in the constitutional amendment the voters voted for," Eric Draper, with Audubon Florida, said.
The deal with U.S. Sugar expires in October. The legislature hasn't given any indication that they'd be willing to spend the more than $350 million for the land buy.