FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kimberly Mitchell
Everglades Groups Take Stand Against Unfair Sugar Policy
Everglades Trust joins other environmental groups, Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy,
urging Congress to modernize the sugar program
(WEST PALM BEACH, FL, March 30, 2018) – Everglades Trust, a member of the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy,joined 11 other environmental groups in sending a letter to congressional policymakers urging supportfor the Sugar Policy Modernization Act as a way to bring balance and fairness to the Everglades.
In addition to Everglades Trust, the letter was signed by Bullsugar, the Center for Biological Diversity, Clean Water Advocacy, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Florida Defenders of the Environment, Florida Wildlife Foundation, National Parks Conversation Association, Reef Relief, Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, Sierra Club and Sierra Club Broward Group. The letter was sent to lead sponsors of the Act – Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Representatives Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Danny Davis (D-IL) – as well as every member of the Florida delegation, and reads in part:
“While there are certainly other factors at play, mass production of sugarcane in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) south of Lake Okeechobee remains a great impediment to efforts by the federal and state agencies to restore the Everglades through implementation of the congressionally authorized Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Working around sugar interests has come at a much greater expense both of time and taxpayers’ money.
“… The sugar industry has used this windfall to fund political candidates, campaigns, consultants, law firms and lobbying efforts in Tallahassee and Washington to monopolize water and drainage in the EAA, and to force taxpayers to bear the costs of cleaning up its pollution. The political power this program has given to sugarcane producers continues to wreak havoc on our state’s tourism, fishing and real estate economies that depend on clean water, which is blocked, diverted and muddied by the industry’s practices and stranglehold on policymakers.
“Loosening the stranglehold Big Sugar has had on our political system for decades, bolstered by this archaic corporate welfare scheme, is the single greatest thing we could do to ensure the survival of America’s Everglades, three vital coastal estuaries and the source of drinking water for 8 million Floridians,” said Kimberly Mitchell, executive director of Everglades Trust.
“It’s time for Congress to say yes to fairness, yes to competitiveness, yes to protecting and creating American manufacturing jobs – and preserving America’s Everglades – by modernizing the sugar program,” said Jennifer Cummings, spokesperson for the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy.
Click here for the full text of the letter.
About Everglades Trust:
Everglades Trust works to insist local, state and federal lawmakers take meaningful and timely action to preserve and restore America’s Everglades. Through grassroots initiatives and legislator education, the Trust ensures lawmakers are held accountable to their constituents and are protecting the Everglades. Learn more at EvergladesTrust.org