To the editor:
It is time to write your Florida legislative representatives to correct a mess.
Republican state Sen. Paula Dockery, just retired after a distinguished 10-year run in the Legislature, represented Polk County where watershed wetlands damages from pre- and post-1975 phosphate strip mining is historically the worst as documented in the state's 2007 PRCIS report, shows ground water tables dropping to unacceptable levels.
Dockery has written an article documenting the "drastic FDEP staff reduction" (loss of 58 experienced folks). it illustrates how Gov. Rick Scott has helped deny Florida voters the best possible protections for our vital environmental watersheds waters.
It does not appear Florida waters, which we rely upon for our tourism and fishing industries, will be properly protected at the state level by the FDEP, as required by federal EPA rules.
This sudden, severe and unnecessary staff reduction at FDEP, the state water protection rules enforcers, ironically threatens the future health of our regional fish populations in Charlotte Harbor.
Let us all hope the EPA in 2013 will help us get through this unnecessary state-created mess and ensure Charlotte Harbor is properly protected, along with its several upstream river feeder watershed areas, which the harbor relies upon for vital downstream freshwater flows.
Lemon Bay Conservancy