Community Comes Together
Florida Bay Forever hosted a meeting, Friday, December 8 2017, to answer the question, "How can Monroe County prioritize Everglades Restoration at a state and federal level?"
Twenty people gathered to ponder the question. Commissioner David Rice, County Administrator Roman Gastessi, along with business leaders, Chamber of Commerce leaders, fishermen and realtors gathered to learn, listen and brainstorm answers to this plaguing question.
Caroline McLaughlin from the National Parks Conservation Association addressed the audience with a legislative update and Ross Boucek from Bonefish and Tarpon Trust gave an overview about the current conditions in the Bay.
Everyone at the table expressed concern and understood the value of a focused and continued effort in amplifying the voice of the Florida Keys on the larger stage. And while the County has done excellent work responding where needed, everyone agreed that an increased collaboration between the community, the County and the municipalities is needed.
6 Action Items
We left the meeting with this to-do list:
Work to better represent Monroe County at the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD
Create a Florida Bay Citizen Task Force to liaise, advise, and support the County Commission in their attention to Everglades Restoration as it pertains to the Florida Bay
Continue to monitor actions of Monroe County lobbyist for conflict of interest issues
Create a Monroe County Florida Bay Economic Report depicting the direct economic impact from a healthy Florida Ba
Create an entity (in the pattern of FIRM) to be a Monroe County watchdog, legislative presence, and voice of Monroe County
Dedicate County resources/staff to attend SFWMD and legislative meetings pertaining to Florida Bay
We'll keep you posted as we progress!