Crafting Our Legacy: Florida’s Land & Water

Each time we take to the polls on election day, we have a chance to shape the outcome of our future and the legacy we leave to future generations. Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, Amendment 1 on November’s ballot, is a total game-changer.
Over the last few years, our state legislators have significantly defunded programs for the purchase and maintenance of conservation lands that help to ensure healthy rivers and clean drinking water, protect sacred wetlands and habitat for wildlife, and provide opportunities for recreation and tourism. Each year, the interests of “future generations” are forced to compete for funding with the short-term needs and desires of current residents and the pet projects of election-minded politicians. We cannot afford to continue to shortchange our conservation programs or future generations by forgoing the opportunity to purchase environmentally-sensitive lands and restore our ailing waterways. We need a consistent source of funding that is not dependent on the political process, allowing us to continue the legacy of protecting Florida’s precious natural resources.
Florida’s Water and Land Legacy will do just that by allocating a portion of the existing documentary stamp tax to water and land conservation, management, and restoration. This amendment provides an opportunity for Florida citizens to address threats to our water quality and keep pollution out of our rivers, lakes, springs and coastal waters—without any increase in taxes.
Regional and statewide conservation organizations are energizing for a big campaign in 2014 to help pass the Land and Water Legacy Amendment. Sierra Club in Northeast Florida has adopted passage of Amendment 1 as its signature project in 2014, and will showcase at One Spark. “Come out to One Spark to learn what the Amendment can do for you, vote for our project, and volunteer to help in the campaign” is Janet Stanko’s invitation. “It’s our Florida. We need to preserve it.”
All funds donated to the Sierra Club Northeast Group during One Spark will go towards signage, electronic campaigns, awareness events, talks, and continual outreach through November in order to fund the local campaign. Passage of this amendment could be the biggest change the state of Florida has ever seen for protection of the rivers, springs, and land so critical to our well-being. Go vote for Project #20135 at One Spark and vote YES on 1 in November!

About Shannon Blankinship

Shannon Blankinship is the Outreach Director for St. Johns Riverkeeper and contributes regularly via the “On The River” column building awareness for the many issues that impact the St. Johns River. Shannon received her B.S. from Purdue University in Natural Resources Economics and Policy and her J.D. from Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville. She is currently an elected official in Duval County serving on the Soil and Water Conservation District. She is a board member for the local nonprofit The Girls Gone Green and regularly contributes articles affecting animals and health. She is a Springfield resident and works to promote all things great in the urban core neighborhoods.