On Wednesday, June 8th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis officially vetoed Senate Bill 2508. This bill was the subject of nearly five months of intense grassroots advocacy for the folks at Captains for Clean Water and Floridians who value healthy coastal communities. Back in February, SB 2508 was suspiciously filed as a “budget-conforming bill,” circumventing the traditional public engagement and committee procedures. Further, it was riddled with provisions harmful to Florida’s estuarine habitats and restoration efforts. Thanks to a dedicated and motivated group of fishing guides and stakeholders who traveled to the State Capitol House to demonstrate the strong opposition to SB 2508, the Senate withdrew the bill’s worst provisions. The Governor’s veto today ends the SB 2508 fight and removes all question about how this bill could have harmed Florida’s waters or threatened Everglades restoration.
“Thank you Governor DeSantis for standing firm in your commitment to protect Florida’s waterways by vetoing Senate Bill 2508—the bad water policy that would have reversed years of Everglades restoration and water quality progress, elimination of Lake Okeechobee discharges, and equitable distribution of water use, all in favor of Big Sugar. Our organization and others worked hard to weaken 2508 and this veto is the final nail in the coffin,” said Capt. Daniel Andrews, Executive Director of Captains For Clean Water.
This is a great win for Florida’s water and fisheries, those who depend on healthy coastal ecosystems, the folks at Captains for Clean Water, and grassroots advocacy efforts all around the country. Today, it’s abundantly clear that if you round up enough passionate individuals–even a bunch of scraggly fishing guides–you can influence positive change.