Mad at Rick Scott? March to His House in Naples Saturday

Categories: Politics

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C'mon -- you've got to be mad at Rick Scott about something! Leaving Stand Your Ground intact? Decimating the Department of Environmental Protection? Not showing up at his own education summit? Making baldness sexy?

What started out a protest against oil drilling has morphed into a catch-all event. People from a group called Preserve Our Paradise say they are marching to the governor's house in Naples this Saturday. Actually, they are also paddling kayaks and going by boat to the waterfront home.

The protest began because the Dan A. Hughes company is slated to begin exploratory oil drilling in October.

Say organizers:

In light of recent events and as a show of solidarity, we're inviting everyone to march to the governor's house with their own concerns: the St. Lucie River crisis, Dream Defenders, farmworker justice, immigration reform, education cuts and more. We're strongest when we unite....

We'll deliver concerns to his doorstep about backyard oil drilling and drilling on the 115,000 acres Collier leased to Hughes for oil operations in the Western Everglades. The drill site and entire lease area is one of the most ecologically sensitive and biodiverse regions in the nation, surrounded--east, south, west, and north--by a vast array of public lands, acquired at great cost, to protect rare plants and animals as well as safeguard vital watersheds and provide recreation. Consider the Picayune Strand State Park, Rookery Bay, 10,000 Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and Everglades National Park directly downstream. Congress authorized a 30-year Everglades Restoration Plan dedicated to restoring the South Florida ecosystem. Why allow oil drilling to endanger that $10 billion dollar Everglades project, funded by the people?

Concerned citizens worry that drilling could contaminate drinking water in aquifers, or that a spill could destroy beaches and ruin the entire tourism-based economy. The protestors will ask Scott to direct the DEP to deny Hughes' permit application for drilling.

Organizers are also upset that by repealing a requirement for ethanol in gasoline, Scott discouraged Algenol Biofuels, which wanted to expand in Florida, and that he "vetoed the $7.5 million FGCU Innovative Hub/Renewable Energy Institute, foregoing another opportunity to jumpstart the state's economy and support renewable energy."

The protest begins at Naples Fishing Pier, 25 12th Ave. S., Naples and ends at 3150 Gordon Drive in Old Naples.

For more information, see the event's Facebook page or contact Karen Dwyer, Ph.D., 508-847-6992, dwyerka@gmail.com Facebook Preserve Our Paradise.



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