March 9 Evenings at the Conservancy event to focus on Everglades Agricultural Area lands and oil legislation

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March 9 Evenings at the Conservancy event to focus on Everglades Agricultural Area lands and oil legislation

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida will present a special Evenings at the Conservancy, environmental lecture series event, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, at the Conservancy’s Eaton Conservation Hall. Speakers will discuss the Conservancy’s 2017 legislative priorities that address the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) lands, SB 10 and HB 761, and the ban of fracking and fracking-like activities, SB 442 and HB 451, two issues that directly impact the water quality in Southwest Florida.

The free event will feature a discussion led by Conservancy of Southwest Florida President and CEO Robert Moher and members of the Conservancy policy team. Conservancy of Southwest Florida members and the public and media are invited to attend the community event to learn more about the issues and address any questions regarding these bills.

The EAA lands bills, SB 10 and HB 761, authorize the purchase of 60,000-acres of land south of Lake Okeechobee, initiating the planning of the EAA Reservoir Project, which protects the Lake Okeechobee ecosystem by naturally mimicking the Everglades. These bills are a fundamental component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). Therefore, supporting these bills will promote natural water level changes, protect the estuaries, encourage the growth of recreational opportunities for tourism, which creates more jobs within the state of Florida.

Current oil and gas laws allow fracking and fracking-like activities, which present a risk to local water supplies. Oil legislation, SB 442 and HB 451, prohibits the use of these activities that utilize freshwater sources for industrial use, forcing several Florida counties to rely on alternative, brackish or salty aquifers to meet the needs of the public. Therefore, supporting these bills will protect local water resources and supply from well-stimulation treatments throughout the state of Florida.

Seating at the Evenings at the Conservancy event is limited, and often sell out. Those interested in attending are asked to reserve a seat by contacting Sophia Navarra by emailing SophiaN@conservancy.org or calling 239-403-4207. To learn more about the Evenings at the Conservancy event, please visit www.conservancy.org/evenings.