Tag Archives: accountability

Ron DeSantis: Protecting Florida’s Environment on Day 1

Yesterday, I called in for the final conference call of Governor-elect Ron DeSantis’ Transition Advisory Committee on the Environment,  chaired by our own, Congressman Brian Mast. It was very, very interesting. Highlights of the call were recorded by TC Palm’s Ali Schmitz:

https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/indian-river-lagoon/politics/2018/12/28/desantis-transition-work-agriculture-limit-pollution/2424629002/

https://desantistransition.com/governor-elect-ron-desantis-announces-transition-advisory-committee-on-the-environment-natural-resources-agriculture/

As a member of the public, I was able to listen-in on the call ~this one focusing on Agriculture, and make my recommendation.

Having served on the Constitution Revision Commission in 2018, I am especially drawn to the importance of government structure. DeSantis’ originally posted environmental policy statement listed Accountability for Water Quality. Right now, many Floridians wonder “who is charge,” who answers for our present lack of water quality? Some even think, understandably so, that it is the Army Corp of Engineers. It is not. Under the law, the state of Florida is responsible for water quality, but with “three cooks in the kitchen,” (DEP, Water Management Districts, and Dept of Agriculture) this is difficult. So with my time on the call, I asked for centralization of enforcement of water quality standards and a strong Lead Agency:

CENTRALIZE THE ENFORCEMENT OF WATER QUALITY STANDARDS. A Majority of water quality regulation is currently housed at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). However, certain water quality standards and monitoring reside within the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) which is overseen by the Commission of Agriculture. DeSantis will work with the Florida legislature to move all components of water quality regulation within the Executive Branch to DEP. This will increase uniformity and ensure that the Secretary of DEP, who is accountable to the Governor, has the tools necessary to meet the water quality standards that Floridians deserve. ~DeSantis for Governor website Sept. 2018.

As we all know, the inauguration is January 8th, 2019. Very exciting! Congratulations Governor DeSantis! And awesome that Congressman Mast is by your side!!

Before we get too excited, let’s not forget…

Today, I will post the website of Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis on the environment so we can remember what was promised and hold the governor and all members of the Transition Advisory Committee on the Environment accountable for next four years. Looking forward to a governor who will protect the environment on day one!

Website links:

GOVERNOR-ELECT RON DESANTIS

https://rondesantis.com/issues/

https://rondesantis.com/environment/

Election Over, Watch Like a Hawk, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Juvenile hawk, North River Shores, 11-1-14. (Photo Todd Thurlow.)
Juvenile hawk, North River Shores, 11-1-14. “Birds of Prey” have excellent vision. (Photo Todd Thurlow.)

The 2014 mid-term election is now over, but our job is just starting.

We must watch the governor; we must watch his administration and agencies; we must watch our town, city, county, state, and congressional candidates.  We are tired yes, but we must not take our eyes off them, not for a second.

Whether you voted for them or not, “winning the election” means that these candidates are working for you. But if you do not communicate with them, or watch what they are doing, don’t be surprised if they wander from their promises and goals. It is only through the pressure and support of the people that the representative process works.

The stately hawk in the photo above was taken by my brother Todd Thurlow, (http://thurlowpa.comat his North River Shores home this past weekend during the Stuart Air-Show. I think the hawk is symbolic for what we must do and how we must conduct ourselves. The hawk was not afraid of my brother or the loud and larger airplanes in the sky. It just kept watching……

As far as identifying the hawk,  I cannot tell if it is a red-shouldered, red-tailed or another type as the bird’s markings have not yet matured, and I am no expert of the avian species. If you know, please share! 

What I do know though, is that this bird’s eyesight, particularly because it is a “bird of prey,” is one of the very best in the animal kingdom.

Close up of hawk eye. Public photo.
Close up of hawk eye. Public photo.

“The visual ability of birds of prey is legendary, and the keenness of their eyesight is due to a variety of factors: eyes size to body mass; eyes shape and make up– with more receptors, foveae, rods and cones giving the bird spectacular long distance vision, seeing more than 6-8 times better than humans.”

Let this young hawk inspire us. Let’s not take our eyes off our elected officials!

Help me watch them; help me push them; help me encourage them to fight the next four years for sending more water south from Lake Okeechobee, and over all water quality for our area canals, St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.

Hawk with airplanes from air-show in distance
Hawk with airplanes from air-show in distance. (Photo Todd Thurlow.)

_______________________________________________________

Congratulations especially to winners Senator Joe Negron; Congressman Patrick Murphy and Martin County Commissioner, Ed Fielding whom I supported and promoted in this election. I will be watching! 🙂

Red Tailed Hawk: (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-tailed_Hawk/id) 

Red Shouldered hawk FWC: (http://legacy.myfwc.com/bba/docs/bba_RSHA.pdf)

Bird Vision: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird_vision)