SFWMD board member attacks Mark Perry

For .pdf, click here: Postcard


From Ginny Sherlock, renowned local attorney, civic activist, and former Associated Press editor: Brandon Tucker, Martin County representative to the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board, has attacked Mark Perry of the Florida Oceanographic Society as a liar who doesn’t really understand how water management works in South Florida.  In the attached item above, sent out by a group deceptively named Floridians for Clean Water, Tucker accuses Perry of lying about certain “facts” and spreading “misinformation” that delays true restoration of our environment.

Tucker then touts deep injection wells to divert excess water underground “during emergency situations” to avoid discharges into rivers and estuaries.  Tucker appears to speak for the entire Governing Board (“This Board fully recognizes that water is a critical resource, and we are not in the business of wasting it,” he writes.  “This Board cannot ‘get the water right’ when inaccurate information makes its rounds to our constituents.”).

Here’s what a true environmental advocate has to say about deep injection wells:

“This technology is neither fast nor inexpensive, and it is full of uncertainty. Not much is known about what happens when vast quantities of water are forced deep underground. Floridians, more than anyone else, know what harm can occur when massive volumes of water are forced to go where they don’t belong.

“More fundamentally, deep injection wells represent old, flawed thinking that tries to solve the problem of too much rain by ‘getting rid of water.’ This sounds familiar. It is what our predecessors did when they designed the flood management system causing our current problems.

“I know at times it is difficult to imagine a lack of rain, but drought is as much a certainty in South Florida as heavy rainfall. It is not a question of whether we will suffer a drought, but when and where it will hit, how long it will last and how severe it will be. South Florida’s climatic whipsaw demands we catch, store and clean as much of our excess rainfall as possible, and return that water to nature and people at the right time, in the right places.

“That is what Everglades restoration is about. Yes, restoration poses challenges, but we must overcome those — not divert critical restoration dollars to expensive, high-risk approaches that repeat our predecessors’ past mistakes.”

From an article by Shannon Estenoz, former vice chair of the South Florida Water Management District Board of Governors, who is now the chief operating officer and vice president of policy and programs at the Everglades Foundation, which works to protect and restore America’s Everglades through science, advocacy and education.

Ironically, Tucker argues that we should all work together to find solutions while blasting Mark Perry — one of the hardest-working, most dedicated, knowledgeable and fearless advocates for clean water — as untruthful and insincere.

Tucker should take look in the mirror if he wants to see someone who lacks knowledge, sincerity, and dedication to solving  pollution and health issues related to our waterways.

He writes: “To make it perfectly clear, SFWMD is a flood control agency.  In addition to our extensive restoration efforts, our primary mission is to protect all land, families and businesses from flooding.”

The SFWMD website lists the agency’s missions as “flood control, water supply planning, water quality improvement, and ecosystem restoration.”  Apparently, Tucker neglected to read beyond the first of the four missions set out on the website and does not recognize water quality, water supply, and ecosystem restoration as among the primary missions of the agency.

Tucker’s article was published in the Sunshine State News, an on-line publication that, like Floridians for Clean Water, lacks transparency as to its management and ownership.  Former Stuart News columnist Nancy Smith, who has never hidden her disdain for environmental advocates, is the editor of the publication but has long refused to disclose the owner.

Floridians for Clean Water is managed by Todd Wilder, owner of two political consulting and public relations firms in Tallahassee which specialize in political strategy and strategic campaign management. He also identifies himself as an adjunct professor of political science at Florida State University.  His name does not surface in any search of “clean water advocates” in Florida.


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