Audubon of Florida News

Scott Administration Memo Restrains Water Resource Protection

posted on June 17, 2011 in State Government

In a June 16 memo to water management districts, DEP staff gave direction consistent with the Scott administration approach to restrain efforts to plan for and protect water resources. The memo limits the districts in several areas including land acquisition, wetlands mitigation, water conservation and regulation of water supply and environmental resources.  Meant to provide direction consistent with Governor Scott’s politically motivated budget cuts, the memo redefines the role of the water management districts away from water resources.

St. Johns River by Ed JurgensenOf particular concern to Audubon of Florida is the absence of direction to help preserve water from overuse.  In the middle of a drought that has been made worse in South Florida by over-consumption of water supplies and failure to restrict water use, the memo fails to mention the important roles water districts must play in pushing permitted users toward water conservation.

The memo also pushes the districts away from investing public funds in projects that may help to preserve water recharge. The memo has a disturbing sentence that links capital and reserve funds to water supply planning.  Hopefully, DEP has not taken the position districts should only invest capital funds in water supply as opposed to restoration and recovery of damaged water resources such as the Everglades.

“Districts will also need to provide a coherent explanation of the relationship between funds held in reserve and their relationship to the districts’ short, intermediate, and long-term water supply plans.”

Water management districts have an equal role of preserving water for the environment – this is done through land conservation and management as well as restoration projects.


**Update: Audubon supporter John Moran sent in this photo to show the drought at Peacock Springs in North Florida:



  1. [...] can see at  Florida Audubon’s and Sonny Vergara’s blogs a new memo from FDEP about “Budget Directions” memo for [...]

    Pingback by Good idea to concentrate water management power in Tallahassee? | Watery Foundation — June 20, 2011 @ 3:41 am

  2. I appreciate the concern, but what would Audubon members recommend the state of Florida do faced with the current budget dilemma?

    Comment by Bill Wilcox — June 20, 2011 @ 3:43 am

  3. This is being done under the guise of budgetary cuts. It’s all about turning control over to the Governor and a land grab for the developers.

    Comment by Ann Malachowski — June 20, 2011 @ 9:22 am

  4. @Ann. Land grab. Don’t think so. Have you seen a boom in real estate in Florida in resent years. Ain’t no body buying real estate in Florida. St Joe just shut down plans here in NW Florida near the newly build Panama City Beaches International Fund Fraud Airport. They know there is no land boom going on anylonger in Florida. So it isn’t that notion….!

    Comment by Sam Eleiot — June 20, 2011 @ 10:42 am

  5. @Sam: No housing boom YET everywhere I look new developments are in full swing, thousands of new homes and apartments sitting empty so contractors can make BILLIONS on a product not needed in FL. The banks don;t care because they have Gov. backing to protect them from inability to push housing in this market.
    Remember, it;s the GOP drilling and spilling oil in our waters and burning land for privatized developers. Scott will be a billionaire by time he leaves office and the corporations will have all of us over the buck.

    Comment by Arc — June 20, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

  6. And Rick Scott thinks he is a conservative. Yes of the money he gets from ?? whichever business he can grab. All I know, our Insurance HomeOwners in Fla thanks to him, went up immediately when he was put in office. He will help ruin our Environment. Rick Scott is ruining our State.

    Comment by Marjorie — June 21, 2011 @ 4:05 am

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