On April 2, 2019, Agriculture Commissioner Nicole "Nikki" Fried highlighted key issues facing Florida's natural lands and waterways. She sponsored a resolution, signed by Governor DeSantis and the entire cabinet, recognizing the month of April as Water Conservation Month in the state of Florida.
The Chair of Waterkeepers Florida, Lisa Rinaman, the St. John's Riverkeeper, was invited to receive the resolution on behalf of all 13 Florida Waterkeepers. Founded in 2018, Waterkeepers Florida is a coalition of 13 independent Waterkeeper organizations working to protect some of the most biodiverse and threatened waterways in the United States. The organizations work across their watershed boundaries to fight for swimmable, drinkable, and fishable water for all Floridians. Waterkeepers Florida provides a platform for Waterkeepers to speak and work collectively on legislative issues at the state level. The 13 Waterkeeper organizations include: Apalachicola Riverkeeper, St. Mary's Riverkeeper, Emerald Coastkeeper, Suwanee Riverkeeper, Tampa Bay Waterkeeper, Matanzas Riverkeeper, Suncoast Waterkeeper, St. John's Riverkeeper, Indian Riverkeeper, Calusa Waterkeeper, Collier County Waterkeeper, Lake Worth Waterkeeper, and Miami Waterkeeper.
Commissioner Fried also called on state lawmakers to halt the expansion of oil drilling in the Florida Everglades, and prohibit hydraulic fracturing, matrix acidizing, and other forms of fossil fuel experimentation throughout the state.
"Water is the lifeblood of our state. The Everglades is one of the world's most unique ecosystems. Together they are invaluable resources that we have a moral imperative to preserve for future generations," said Commissioner Fried.