People who really change the world are often not seen as much as some others. They orchestrate their goals like the Wizard of Oz, behind a curtain. So today, I wish to pull the curtain aside and credit Cris Costello of the the Florida West Coast Sierra Club, who is changing our world in the state of Florida in a big way.
I first met Cris in 2009, when the I was trying to usher through a strong fertilizer ordinance for the Town of Sewall’s Point ; it was only my second year as a commissioner, and I needed lots of help. And suddenly she appeared, like “Glenda the Good.”She contacted me, introducing herself, commending me on my efforts and forwarding me helpful information, ammunition, and contacts, to help me achieve me goal. Then she was gone but she came back to congratulate me when the town’s strong fertilizer ordinance passed in 2010, the first on Florida’s east coast!
Through out the years there have been other experiences with her like this, at the Florida League of Cities, at the Sugarland Rally in Clewiston, fighting the Florida Legislature each year as some there try to take away our Home Rule to have strong fertilizer ordinances and other water protections, and most recently the Clean Water Summit (CWS) in Orlando.
Cris helped organize people and press from all over our great state, as people all over our great state have water issues: overdrawn aquifers, algae filled springs, creeks filled with agricultural and residential fertilizer runoff, the dying Everglades, and especially “us,” the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon, with our filthy canals and releases from Lake Okeechobee killing “one of the most bio-diverse estuaries in North America.”
I believe Cris saw the amazing citizen river/lagoon protests that occurred in Martin and St Lucie Counties last summer, and brought the movement state wide. The opening comments of the Clean Water Summit of which hundreds attended were: “The Indian River crisis spurred this movement. It is our responsibility to embrace this movement and embodied it now as a state.”
Today Cris and others organized the Tallahassee Clean Water Rally and thousands of citizens are signing the Clean Water Declaration, see link above. Hundreds of people will be descending upon the steps of the state capitol today, to say to our legislature: “Clean Water IS business in Florida; it’s our business!”
Kudos to Cris and those who are changing our world fighting for clean water in Florida. Let’s give her and her team a loud round of applause!