Florida painter, Everglades, Marco Island, artist Jo-Ann Sanborn


Clean Air and Water, Swamp daily painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Swamp, 2011, © Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 7"x5

My soapbox, once again!  Swamps need protection, too!

Dirty deals are being made in Washington, and Everglade’s recovery is threatened once more.  The Everglades suffer from excessive nutrient levels, the results of runoff from agriculture, particularly big sugar.  Excessive nutrients cause changes in the Everglades ecosystems 

There are attempts to add Anti-clean air and Anti clean water riders to bills that need to be passed, but have nothing to do with clean air and water, and will work around 40 year old standards.  If bills are passed with these riders attached, standards set for Everglades restoration will suffer.

Federal Regulation has been effective in turning around polluted spots.  I grew up in Gloucester, Mass, where a sewer “bubbler” in the harbor made swimming there impossible.  There were few fish, and often a stink.  The Clean Water Act was the reason to sewer the city—not easy on heavy rock ledge.  It was done, and the harbor began to improve.  Forty years later the water in Gloucester Harbor sparkles and people can eat the fish they catch off the docks.  Success stories can be found around New England, and perhaps where you live.  

Corporate concern for a cleaner planet is rare, and to be widespread and effective, clean air and water regulations standards must be consistent and mandated by federal regulation. 

Most Florida legislators know that that the Everglades are important to the well-being of the already stressed gulf, and to fisheries in Florida Bay, as well as the economics of our state, but may be outvoted on this legislation.  They are also reliant on big business, particularly big agricultural concerns, and their votes are not always consistent with providing the best for our environment. 

Let’s use our votes wisely to move forward rather than backwards, especially where our beautiful country is concerned.  Let’s demand protection for the Everglades, with clean air and clean water, and make sure our current legislators know how we feel.

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