ACTION NEEDED: Email the state agencies - We support adopted Martin County Comprehensive Plan Amendment #13-5 - MRT No. 13-1 ESR - and encourage a finding of compliance with all state statutes and requirements and that we support the recently transmitted #13-7 that carries out CPA #13-5. Residents have been involved in the process for close to a year now and support home rule that lets residents choose to have stronger neighborhood, environmental, economic and fiscally-conservative protections than most other counties.
E-mail addresses: Ray.Eubanks@DEO.myflorida.com; Laura.Regalado@DEO.myflorida.com; Sherri.Martin@DEO.myflorida.com, firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Plan.Review@dep.state.fl.us; firstname.lastname@example.org; FWCConservationPlanningServices@myfwc.com; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Maggy Hurchalla, former County Commissioner, has worked with the public, county Staff and County Commission to restore the Comp Plan's goals and to add new requirements such as a super-majority vote to change our critical protections. The state agencies are now reviewing our adopted Comp Plan Amendment #13-5. They must find it "in compliance" or not by about Sept. 25. Laws have changed and we have little support for responsible planning from Tallahassee - yet some agencies hearing from Big Sugar and other lobbyists are speaking against our strong Comp Plan. Home Rule says we are entitled to strong protections so long as the residents choose them and the protections don't violate state law. Please stand against special interest and email the state agencies showing our support for the Adopted Comp Plan Amendment 13-5 that restores overall goals and policies that protect our neighborhoods, preserve our environment, strengthen our economy and maintain our quality, fiscally conservative planning -- and CPA #13-7 that carries out some of the environmental protections. Four Commissioners, County Staff and Maggy worked very hard on these amendments and there was considerable resident involvement. Please see Maggy's website www.MartinCompPlan.com to learn more about the Comp Plan.
ACTION NEEDED: Tell our elected officials to "Close on the Big Sugar Buy Contract. Exercising the option contract by Oct. 12, 2013 for sending Lake O water south to the National Park is needed now. Use the BP oil spill billions because tourism is impacted now with brown water on both east and west coasts of Florida. It also avoids the costs, delay and rancor of eminent domain. Maggy Hurchalla and others including a news-press.com editorial recommend using BP monies for the critical buy! TOGETHER WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE -- let's speak as one on this issue.
Emails for elected state officials: Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com; Negron.Joe.email@example.com; GHarrell@gayleharrell.com; MaryLynn.Magar@myfloridahouse.gov; Larry.Lee@myfloridahouse.gov
Emails for SFWMD Board members & Corps: KPowers@sfwmd.gov; SBatchel@sfwmd.gov, JMoran@sfwmd.gov; DOKeefe@sfwmd.gov; JPortuon@sfwmd.gov; TSargent@sfwmd.gov; GWaldman@sfwmd.gov; MHutchcraft@sfwmd.gov; RBarber@sfwmd.gov; Thomas.Greco@usace.army.mil
The District has an option to buy over 150,000 acres of Big Sugar land for $7,400/acre but the deadline is coming fast - in Oct. In the Stuart News Sunday Sept 1, 2013: Senator Joe Negron, Maggy Hurchalla and Mark Perry spoke on the buy. www.tcpalm.com/news/2013/sep/01/treasure-coast-environmentalists-decry-lack-of/ The article is a great read.
Maggy Hurchalla spoke of the critical need to complete the U.S. Sugar land purchase "because it's the single most important thing that can happen to make the Lake Okeechobee discharges end... It will cost a whole lot more later... And in the meantime, the St. Lucie Estuary could die and not come back..." Mark Perry agreed on the importance of the buy. Senator Joe Negron said "It's my understanding that since it's up to the district whether or not to exercise their option (to buy U.S. Sugar land) that they will have the ability to come up with the money. But to make that significant a financial commitment, I'm sure the governor and the Legislature are going to be involved."
An editorial of news-press.com "Lake Okeechobee no-nos must end" speaks to the option of using BP monies for this purchase:
The editorial spoke of the great importance of improving the ability to move excess water from the Lake O and EAA area to the Everglades National Park, applauding Governor Rick Scott for his pledge of $90 Million to help raise more of the Tamiami Trail saying "But we are just beginning to climb this mountain, which has formed over many years. Reaching the peak is only accomplished when we are able to return the flow of water from the lake south to the natioinal park. What stands in the way of accomplishing that are thousands of acres of lands in the Everglades Agricultural Area - much of it owned by U.S. Sugar. Until that land can be purchased and a massive waterway system dug to get the Lake O water moving south, our problems with lake flow will remain.
The editorial continues to talk about "Our Chance" of building on the 27,000 acres purchased 2 years ago -- "The state's option to buy the remaining 153,000 acres for about $1 billion - or $7,400 an acre - expires next month. After that, the state still owns the option on the land, but the price is expected to rise signficantly... that land is the only key to permanently solving our water quality issue... Why not take some of the $15 Billion the state received from the BP oil spill - when officials loudly complained that the disaster hurt our tourism industry - and use it to buy the land. Tourism is certainly impacted now with our brown water."
Donna Melzer reminds us: The buy quadruple-helps the Estuary & Lagoon by (i) providing critical land for the flowway south without the delay and costs of eminent domain; (ii) providing areas for "water farming' quickly, and (iii) decreasing the polluted water back-pumped into the Lake or pumped to the WCAs by Big Sugar working to keep their crop at optimal water levels, and (iv) decreasing the lobbying pressure to keep the Lake too high for the health of the lake and the estuaries. However, it is important to continue the push for more storage and clean-up to the north of the Lake and requiring developers in that area to help in that process.
The Martin County Conservation Alliance website seeks to inform residents about development projects and Comprehensive Plan amendments which threaten our special Martin County quality of life. We invite the public to attend our monthly meetings. Please see our meetings page.
Website by the Martin County Conservation Alliance, P.O. Box 1923, Stuart, FL 34995