The following letter was sent to all members of the Florida House and Senate on Florida Forever funding.
Our organization, the Indian River Neighborhood Association, is a 501(c)(3) representing 1000+ members throughout Indian River County concerned with the present and future quality of life for the people who live here, work here and otherwise visit here.
We have long supported the Florida Forever conservation lands Amendment. In fact, we strongly advocated and worked for its successful passage.
It was a huge disappointment when funding was minimized due to economic factors and, when partially restored, it served purposes other than the purchase of conservation lands. This is just not acceptable and contrary to the wishes of the voters who originally voted for this amendment.
Conservation lands are primary to our water supply and must be recognized as such. There is credible and undisputable science to attest to this fact. Our Water-Lagoon Committee has been addressing this matter for many years and their work has been extraordinary. Please refer to the below letter for further information.
The challenge to our Waters has never been more serious and unless we immediately take very positive steps our future is threatened.
Please, for the future of Florida, restore the financing during this Legislative session for the sole purpose of purchasing conservation lands to benefit our water supply, as the voters wanted you to do. Please do not allow such funds to be diverted.
For more information about our organization please visit our website www.indianriverna.com and please do not hesitate to contact us should you wish to share any comment or have questions.
Honey Minuse, Chair, Indian River Neighborhood Association Board of Directors
To Whom It May Concern:
Since the focus of the Indian River Neighborhood Association’s Water & Lagoon Committee is smart growth, sufficient potable water and clean waterways, we would like to add our support to our parent organization’s letter to fully fund Florida Forever, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment overwhelmingly passed by voters five years ago. Amendment 1 called for an annual commitment of one third of the documentary stamp tax revenue to be spent to acquire, restore, improve and manage conservation lands. Fully funding Florida Forever would serve all of our focus issues mentioned above.
The 100 million dollars allotted in the Governor’s 2020-21 budget is simply not enough, especially since the estimated amount of stamp tax revenue available is close to 900 million dollars.
Planning for the future is the responsibility of all of us, especially government. The way to a sustainable water supply for current residents, and the additional 900 a day now coming to Florida, is to preserve natural lands that will absorb and filter the rains and run off to replenish our aquifer. Preserving natural lands for future generations of residents and tourists to enjoy is a legacy we must plan for now as natural lands are fast disappearing.
We urge you to commit to annually fund Florida Forever to the one third amount of documentary stamp tax revenue to acquire, preserve and manage natural lands as Florida voters intended.
Jean Catchpole and Buzz Herrmann
Co-Chairs IRNA Water and Lagoon Committee