Clean water is the backbone of our economy. Our sandy beaches, iconic marine, coastal wildlife, and glistening waterways have attracted hundreds of millions of tourists and new residents for over a century. But in recent years, our prized waterways have turned into a sludge factory, bringing death and destruction.
For decades, lawmakers have allowed pollution from agricultural runoff, dirty stormwater, leaking septic tanks, wastewater spills, and unfettered development to destroy our beaches, springs, rivers, lakes, and streams.
In his first week in office, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order #19-12, establishing the Blue-Green Algae Task Force. The Governor charged this Task Force, composed of water scientists from around the state, with developing recommendations to reduce toxic blue-green algae.
The Task Force issued a consensus document of recommendations in October 2019, focused on actionable ways to invest our tax dollars strategically to prevent pollution at the source. The prescription to save Florida’s waters has never been more clearly articulated to a sitting Governor in all of Florida’s history.
Since taking office, there have been three full legislative sessions (and numerous special sessions), yet the Governor and legislative leaders have only enacted a small handful of those vital recommendations.
FCV and a coalition of environmental organizations released a document that analyzed policies and rulemaking included in SB 712 (2020) and other legislation passed between 2020-2022 with the commonsense recommendations from the Blue-Green Algae Task Force in 2019.
As a watchdog for our water, FCV graded DeSantis on the suite of metrics, demonstrating that he FAILS on 27 of 31 key metrics. The most significant and egregious failures were related to Basin Management Action Plans; agriculture and Best Management Practices, septic systems, sanitary sewer overflows, stormwater systems, and protecting public health.
Read more at our FACT SHEET.
GRADE: F – 13%
While he widely touts himself as a “green” Governor, DeSantis has paid lip service to the majority of chronic water quality and human health concerns plaguing our state. Under his leadership, the only thing that is green is our water.
Governor Ron DeSantis’ Top 5 Notable Failures to Protect Our Water:
- NO statewide septic inspection program
- NO water quality standards for toxic algae blooms
- NO mandatory public health notifications for toxic blooms
- NO water quality testing required for enrolled agricultural polluters
- NOT ENOUGH state resources for pollution prevention
This is unacceptable.