Press Releases

Amendment 1 Coalition Supports U.S. Sugar Land Purchase

Published on April 07, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 7, 2015                       

Media Contact: Will Abberger, (850) 222-7911 ext. 23

Tallahassee, FL (April 7, 2015) - Florida’s Water and Land Legacy strongly supports the acquisition of the 46,800 acres of land in the Everglades Agricultural Area under contract between the South Florida Water Management District and U.S. Sugar Corp.

As water from Lake Okeechobee continues to threaten the communities along Florida’s east and west coasts, this purchase is critical in order to move water south into the Everglades. Reducing the harmful discharges currently plaguing the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers and estuaries is an important piece of the larger Everglades restoration plan.

This land is needed for the EAA Reservoir Project within the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). The EAA Reservoir Project is designed to provide water supply for the Everglades. The opportunity to purchase this land is time-limited with the option expiring this October.

Everglades restoration is part of the intent of Amendment 1, which passed with 75% of the vote in November 2014. The Coalition supports utilizing Amendment 1 dollars, through the bonding of these funds, to purchase this vital land.

“Everglades restoration is clearly one of the main purposes of Amendment 1,” said Will Abberger, chair of Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, the sponsor committee for Amendment 1. “State purchase of the land south of Lake Okeechobee is a critically important component of restoring the Everglades.”

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Florida’s Water and Land Legacy (“FWLL”) is the sponsor committee of Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment. FWLL drafted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment, collected nearly 1 million signatures to place Amendment 1 on the November 2014 ballot, and ran the successful voter education campaign that resulted in an overwhelming 75 percent approval of Amendment 1. FWLL was formed in response to severe cuts to popular and effective state conservation programs like Florida Forever and Everglades restoration. FWLL Steering Committee members are: 1000 Friends of Florida, Audubon Florida, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Defenders of Wildlife, Everglades Foundation, Florida Conservation Coalition, Florida Land Trust Alliance, Florida Wildlife Federation, League of Women Voters of Florida, Rails to Trails Conservancy, Sierra Club, The Conservation Fund, and Trust for Public Land.

“Amendment 1 is for Conservation,” Sponsor committee closely monitoring implementation

Published on February 04, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 4, 2015                       

Media Contact: Will Abberger, (850) 222-7911 ext. 23

Tallahassee, FL (February 4, 2015) - Last November, Florida voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment, sending a clear message that state funding for water and land conservation should be a top budget priority for the Florida Legislature. The Amendment’s unprecedented 75 percent approval rating proved once again that protecting Florida’s natural heritage is truly a bipartisan issue.

“The voters’ message to the Legislature could not have been more clear. Use Amendment 1 money to protect Florida’s waterways and conservation lands – especially those lands that protect our waters at the source,” said Will Abberger,  chair of Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, the Amendment 1 sponsor committee.

“Across Florida, our undisturbed natural lands play a critical role in protecting our rivers, lakes, springs, and drinking water supplies. Protecting conservation lands is our first line of defense to protecting our water resources,” said Manley Fuller of the Florida Wildlife Federation. “Amendment 1 is intended to fund land conservation, not wastewater infrastructure and water supply development. There are other, more appropriate sources of revenue to meet those needs.”

“Florida’s existing conservation programs, like Florida Forever, have a long history of success and select projects through a rigorous process with objective selection criteria based on science, not politics,” said Laurie Macdonald, Florida Director of Defenders of Wildlife. “Amendment 1 funds should go towards these programs that best protect our natural areas – for water, wildlife, and people – and not earmarked on an ad hoc basis.”

The Florida Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee invited citizens to submit comments online regarding the allocation of Amendment 1 funds. So far, more than 3,800 comments have been submitted, showing that Florida voters remain very engaged and are closely monitoring the Legislature’s implementation of  Amendment 1.

Read the Sponsor Committee's Position Statement and Recommendation for FY 16 Appropriations of Doc Stamps from Amendment 1.

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Florida’s Water and Land Legacy (“FWLL”) is the sponsor committee of Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment. FWLL drafted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment, collected nearly 1 million signatures to place Amendment 1 on the November 2014 ballot, and ran the successful voter education campaign that resulted in an overwhelming 75 percent approval of Amendment 1. FWLL was formed in response to severe cuts to popular and effective state conservation programs like Florida Forever and Everglades restoration. FWLL Steering Committee members are: 1000 Friends of Florida, Audubon Florida, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Defenders of Wildlife, Everglades Foundation, Florida Conservation Coalition, Florida Land Trust Alliance, Florida Wildlife Federation, League of Women Voters of Florida, Rails to Trails Conservancy, Sierra Club, The Conservation Fund, and Trust for Public Land.

Vote Yes on 1 Committee – Sponsor of Water and Land Conservation Amendment Guidance on Use of Funds Dedicated by Amendment 1

Published on November 07, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
November 7, 2014                        

Media Contact: Will Abberger, Campaign Manager, (850) 222-7911 ext. 23

Vote Yes on 1 Committee – Sponsor of Water and Land Conservation Amendment Guidance on Use of Funds Dedicated by Amendment 1

Amendment 1 was passed by an overwhelming 75 percent of the vote, the highest level of support for a conservation-related constitutional amendment in Florida history. Support for Amendment 1 came from all regions of the state and spanned the political spectrum.  Florida voters demonstrated yet again their strong support for water and land conservation.

Ratification of Amendment 1 represents an historic opportunity for water and land conservation.  Amendment 1 is the largest state conservation funding measure in the history of the United States. The Amendment is a clearly written set of priorities for spending documentary stamp taxes on water and land conservation.  More than 4.2 million Florida voters voted “Yes” to add these provisions to the Florida Constitution.  

Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, the Vote Yes on Amendment 1 coalition, looks forward to working with Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature to implement Amendment 1 in a manner that is consistent with the intent of the voters. Given the over-whelming popular mandate demonstrated across our state, particularly with a more conservative mid-term electorate, we know that   the Governor and Legislature will seek to faithfully implement the will of the voters.

 

The intent of the Water and Land Conservation Amendment, as ratified by the voters, is to restore spending for a highly successful group of long-standing programs authorized in Florida statutes. The amendment was drafted so that no implementing legislation is required; the Legislature could simply appropriate funds to existing water and land conservation programs.

Amendment 1 will absorb state spending currently authorized under state law for existing debt service for Preservation 2000, Florida Forever, Save our Everglades, and Save our Coasts Bonds.

Amendment 1 will enhance state spending currently authorized through trust funds and other programs approved under state law for:
o    Land Acquisition through the Florida Forever
o    Conservation Easements through the Rural and Family Lands program
o    Everglades Restoration
o    Land acquisition for Everglades Restoration and Northern Everglades, and Estuaries
o    Water Resource Protection and Restoration (Surface Water Improvement and Management)
o    Access and management of state-owned lands and water management lands
o    Greenways and Trails
o    Florida Communities Trust
o    Historic Preservation
o    Florida Recreation and Development Assistance Program


Spending on water and land conservation will help Florida’s economy by protecting water resources, providing access to public lands, and keeping working lands, farms, and forests as part of Florida’s rural landscapes.

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Florida’s Water and Land Legacy is the sponsoring committee of Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment, which was approved by more than 4.2 million voters in the November 2014 election. It represents a coalition of more than 400 organizations and businesses and more than 50,000 citizens from across the state.  To learn more about Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, please visit www.VoteYesOn1FL.org.

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Says “Yes” on Amendment 1

Published on September 12, 2014

Contact: Will Abberger, (850) 294-2006

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s Water and Land Legacy campaign to pass Amendment 1 in November today welcomed the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association’s endorsement of Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment.

“The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, representing more than 10,000 hoteliers, restaurateurs and suppliers, is proud to support the Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, Amendment 1, appearing on the general election ballot in November,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the FRLA. “It is important we work together as a state to protect not only our drinking water resources, but also Florida’s recreational lands that draw millions of tourists to the Sunshine State.”

If approved by voters, Amendment 1 – The Water and Land Conservation Amendment – would take effect July 1, 2015, and provide 20 years of dedicated funding for conservation and the management and restoration of Florida’s natural water and land resources.

“This endorsement is yet another example of  how critical the issue of water and land conservation is to the future of our state,” said Will Abberger, campaign manager for Florida’s Water and Land Legacy campaign. “In November, Floridians have the opportunity to make conservation a top priority in our state – without raising taxes – by voting ‘yes’ on Amendment 1.”

Amendment 1 would set aside one-third of documentary stamp taxes – paid when real estate is sold – to conservation measures aimed at restoring the Everglades, protecting drinking water sources, and reviving the state’s historic commitment to preserving natural lands and wildlife habitat. For almost 20 years, Florida used this funding source to protect natural areas and wildlife habitat, and to preserve water quality, but in recent years the funding has been diverted to other purposes.

For more information about Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Amendment, visit voteyeson1fl.org.

About Florida’s Water and Land Legacy
 Florida’s Water and Land Legacy is the campaign working to win voter approval of Amendment 1, Water and Land Conservation Amendment in November 2014.  More than 40,000 Floridians have signed up to support Florida’s Water and Land Legacy.  The coalition includes more than 400 organizations and businesses from across the state.  To learn more about the Amendment 1 please visit www.VoteYesOn1FL.org.



About the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association FRLA is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association. Our mission is to ‘Protect, Educate and Promote’ Florida’s $76.1 billion hospitality industry which represents 23% of Florida’s economy, $4.6 billion in sales tax revenue, and nearly 1.1 million employees - making it the state’s number one industry. We offer regulatory compliance and food safety training needs (RCS and SafeStaff®); industry developed career-building high school programs (FRLAEF); sponsor the only event in Florida exclusively serving the restaurant and foodservice industry (FR&L Show, September 7-9, 2014 in Orlando); and we safeguard the needs of the hospitality industry by providing legislative advocacy. We represent and serve more than 10,000 independent and household name members, suppliers, and theme parks. For more information, go to www.FRLA.org and find us on Twitter @FRLAnews, Facebook and YouTube.

Florida Supreme Court Approves Water and Land Conservation Amendment

Published on September 26, 2013

Contact: Will Abberger, (850) 294-2006 or Pegeen Hanarahan, (352) 665-5939 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The campaign to place the Water and Land Conservation constitutional amendment to the November 2014 ballot cleared a major hurdle today when the Florida Supreme Court agreed that it satisfies legal requirements for placement on the ballot. The Water and Land Conservation amendment is the first constitutional amendment to be approved by the Supreme Court for the 2014 ballot, according to Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, the amendment’s sponsor. 

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FLORIDA'S WATER & LAND LEGACY CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT DRIVE TO GUARANTEE FUNDING FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION IN FLORIDA

Published on August 07, 2013

Contact: Eric Draper (850) 251-1301 or Manley Fuller (850) 567-7129

Tallahassee – Aiming to provide a stable, dedicated funding source for the acquisition of conservation and recreation lands in Florida, a coalition of leading defenders of the state’s environment today launched a Constitutional amendment petition drive to ask voters to guarantee support for this long-term state priority. 

“This will be the most significant vote in Florida for our environment in our lifetimes,” said Will Abberger, the campaign’s chair and the director of conservation finance for the Trust for Public Land. “We are launching a grassroots effort to let the people decide if clean water and natural land are a legacy we want to leave for our children and grandchildren––and generations to come.” 

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Florida Water and Land Water Conservation Amendment Reaches Florida Supreme Court

Published on April 04, 2013

CONTACT: Will Abberger 850-222-7911, ext. 23

TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign today took a major step forward in getting the Water and Land Conservation amendment on the ballot by crossing the ten percent threshold for Supreme Court review. For a state constitutional amendment seeking to gain access to the ballot by collecting signatures, legal review of the amendment by the Florida Supreme Court is triggered when ten percent of the total 683,149 signatures required—or 68,314—are collected. The campaign has collected 116, 573 signatures across Florida, far exceeding the ten percent threshold. The amendment will provide a stable, dedicated funding source for the acquisition, management, and restoration of conservation and recreation lands in Florida. The Water and Land Conservation amendment would be on the November 2014 ballot.

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FLORIDA WATER AND LAND LEGACY CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCES HISTORIC PUSH TO PUT MEASURE ON 2014 BALLOT

Published on October 04, 2012

Tallahassee – Former Florida U.S. Senator Bob Graham, former DEP Secretary Colleen Castille and leading advocates of the Florida Water and Land Legacy constitutional amendment today announced the campaign’s signature gathering drive is underway. Campaign volunteers will be outside polling places around the state on Election Day to ask voters to sign a petition to place the amendment on the 2014 ballot. 

The signature drive is the latest phase of the effort to pass an amendment to provide a dedicated funding source for water and land conservation, management and restoration. The Florida Water and Land Legacy amendment would designate one-third of the existing documentary stamp tax revenues to land conservation efforts. Based on current projections, this could provide more than $5 billion to conserve and restore land and water resources in Florida over the next ten years.

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