Everglades National Park was established in 1947 to protect a natural treasure - the river of grass that Marjorie Stoneman Douglas fought so hard to preserve - from the onslaught of development. The Park today exists as a major victory for early environmentalists in our region, a significant tourism draw, a bastion of biodiversity, and a cultural legacy.
As South Florida continues to grow, urbanization threatens to encroach on the remaining Everglades. If development consumes buffer lands and grows right to the very edge of the wilderness, the impacts would be unacceptable.
Florida House Bill 175 and Senate Bill 192 are similar bills that would establish a 2-mile buffer zone around the Everglades Protection Area. Specifically, it would require any county comprehensive plan or plan amendment changes that apply to land within this buffer to follow the state coordinated review process. The proposal would need to be reviewed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for adverse impacts. These bills are sponsored by Representative Demi Busatta Cabrera and Senator Brian Avila.
These bills have the potential to put the brakes on development getting too close to the remaining Everglades and threatening ongoing restoration efforts.
On Feb. 7, 2023, the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners will hear item 11(A)(10), sponsored by Commissioner René Garcia. Item 11(A)(10) does the following:
- Urges the Florida Legislature to enact SB 192 and HB 175
- Amends the County’s 2023 State Legislative Package to include this item when the Miami-Dade County delegation goes to Tallahassee for this year’s State Legislative Session.
As if in a current; as time flows by, you can help connect the past to the future: continue the work of advocates before us and help those who will follow us to preserve the Everglades and our South Florida watershed. Sign the Action Alert below to tell the Board of County Commissioners to signal their support for these bills. You can also use the Hold the Line Coalition’s platform to write to the members of the Miami-Dade Delegation to ask for their support during the 2023 State Legislative Session, beginning in March.
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This action alert will expire on Feb. 7, 2023, at 10 AM.