Indian River Lagoon
IRL Protection Plan – continue the pledged funding at $100M/year for IRL restorationThe National Estuary Program estimates cleanup will cost more than $5 Billion over 20 years.
HB 1379 – Florida legislation mandates the elimination of all traditional IRL septic systems by 2030.The State needs to increase funding to assist local governments meet that requirement. There are 30,000 existing septic systems in IRC with a cost to comply at approximately $1 Billion. Provide targeted funding assistance to help low and moderate homeowners to connect/convert.
Adequately fund State agencies:FDEP, FWC, FDACS and the WMDs need additional staff to educate, monitor, enforce environmental regulations and penalize violations.
Ratify Statewide Stormwater Rules as adopted by FDEP in 2023 with the addition of a monitoring component.
Blue Green Algae Task Force – Implement recommendations from 2019 Consensus Doc , particularly monitoring project effectiveness. “Available data suggest that a substantial number of stormwater treatment systems throughout the state fail to achieve their presumed performance standards."
Biosolids:Fund the installation of proven technologies for converting biosolids to beneficial products. Prohibit biosolids of any type from being used as fertilizer due to improper nutrient ratio and chemical contaminates.
Reuse Irrigation Water:Set Nitrogen/Phosphorus levels not to exceed Advance Wastewater Treatment. Current allowable limits exceed the nutrient uptake of plants.
Herbicide Reduction:Require/fund the use of mechanical removal of plants in waterways that feed into impaired areas. Early studies indicate the phosphorus content of the herbicide itself is contributing to algal blooms.
Boating & Marinas
Increase FWC marine patrol: enforce state-wide discharge laws and other marine violations.
Anchoring Limitation Area: approve the application for Indian River County.
Increase funding for derelict vessel removal: streamline administrative process and provide adequate funding.
Land Acquisition: Restore funding to combat the effects of climate change and population growth.
Florida Communities Trust - $35M/year
Florida Forever - $100 M
Rural and Family Lands - $100M
Florida Wildlife Corridor - $100M
Growth Management/Home Rule
Because the State has abdicated growth management responsibility, Cities and Counties should have the right to create and enforce stronger regulations than the often-times weak State rules when it applies to growth management and water quality/quantity protection.
Discontinue Roll Back Rates at the Water Management Districts
Millage Rate Roll backs began in 2000 and water quality declines began to worsen as measured by sea grass. Investment in projects and personnel is critical to fulfill the WMD mission: Protection of natural resources, water quality and water supply. (See the Sea Grass Chart below as compared to the millage rate at St. Johns River Water Management District)