2024 will be a year to GET LOUD

2024 is about ready to rock and roll. And so are we.

The Florida Legislature convenes Jan. 9 and session runs through March 8. Several dirty-water proposals have already been filed; more will follow. We’ll track them all, here in our newsletters and on our website, VoteWater.org.

More than that: In the new year we’re committed to providing more “actionable intelligence” — info on who filed the bills, on what political action committees or other industry groups are behind them; info on how those industries or PACs have donated to the politicians now pushing legislation that benefits special interests but harms our water and environment.

We’re also going to make it easier for you to call, email, even visit Tallahassee in person to voice your displeasure.

Beyond this, 2024 is looking like a year of discharges for the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries. We’ll keep you updated, sound the alarm if the time comes and push loudly for better options that don’t crush the estuaries.

Our ongoing “Dirty Money Project,” set to debut in 2024, aims to be a definitive guide to buying and selling influence in the halls of power.

And of course 2024 is an election year, and all that portends.

Over the years numerous VoteWater supporters have said they back us because we “get loud.” There’s a deep sense of frustration with politics as usual, which got us here in the first place.

On the surface, much has changed since we were founded as Bullsugar.org in 2014, in the wake of the “Lost Summer” of 2013. The state spends more on clean-water projects; some key state officials like the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board are more sympathetic to the clean-water cause. And we haven’t had a full-blown blue-green algae crisis in years.

But with harmful algae blooms a yearly threat on Lake Okeechobee, with the next discharge-fed tide fed perpetually around the next corner, we haven’t solved our problems. Even the EAA Reservoir, held up as “the answer,” remains a decade away.

For some, the response to the next round of algae-clogged discharges will be: Just be patient, things are getting better, help is on the way in several years.

That won’t be VoteWater’s response.

We pledge to GET LOUD when conditions warrant it. We will push for more, always; we will push back against dirty water legislation, every time.

We’re in it to win it; we exist to agitate for change, and we’ll stop agitating when the change finally comes.

So thanks for sticking with us — and fasten your seatbelt for the road ahead.