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  • Carolynn Zonia

Putting Families First: Conservation

Putting Families First on conservation means primarily preserving and protecting the amazing natural resources of our beautiful State. Especially in District 2, there are still wild and pristine places to explore. Whether it's our Springs, Caverns, Trails, Forests, Bays, Rivers, Bayous, Coastal Dune Lakes or Beaches, the time is now to prevent these spaces from destruction related to overdevelopment or mismanagement.

In 1985 Florida enacted the Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act, one of the most comprehensive and progressive land use planning programs in the country. The authority and responsibility for establishing and implementing the roles, processes, and powers of comprehensive planning programs to guide and control future development in Florida is vested in local governments because local governments have regulatory authority over the use of land. Regulatory authority over the use of land means that local governments are the agencies that issue development permits. Although this authority has been weakened recently by politicians in Tallahassee, these decisions are still locally controlled and thus must be locally enforced. I will work to strengthen these rules and roll back the bad pre-emption bills that have been passed. Pre-emption is the process of clawing any decision-making away from local governments and instead, usurping local citizen input by make State Government the arbiter of decisions.

I will work to ensure that not only are wetlands protected and preserved, but enact plans for tree maintenance. Especially in the eastern part of District 2, you can see how neglect of the damage from Hurricane Michael nearly 4 years ago has imperiled the homes and the health of those adjacent to thousand of acres of damaged trees that are current kindling for the next wildfires.

In addition, we need to look at habitat preservation as a state, so that we protect corridors for wildlife. This is where we must intervene to ensure the appropriate use of Florida Forever funds. This is public money, your money and my money, which is currently being misappropriated to pay for items that do nothing to protect and preserve God's creation. I will ensure that these funds are used equitably and efficiently in the way the Taxpayers have directed.

Finally, millions of dollars of public money has been spent studying the cause of blue-green algae that chokes the rivers in the south of our State. And why the manatees are dying off. And why we experience devastating red tide blooms. Also, the looming disaster at Piney Point and the threats to our water from phosphate mining. The solutions to these problems are known, but big political donors don't want them addressed because it might hinder their profit taking. I'll put Families First and enact the measures that will solve these problems.

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