Public Policy

Florida's Springs Need Your Help NOW!

April 24, 2014

The 2014 legislative session is speeding towards a close, so WE NEED YOU TO ACT IMMEDIATELY – MEANING BEFORE MONDAY AFTERNOON IF POSSIBLE.

Please let the Florida Senate know we appreciate what they have tried to do for Florida springs this year. Tell them to stand their ground and not let the House weaken SB 1576 any more in order to say they’ve protected our springs—in essence, to “greenwash” their efforts in an election year. We want a strong Springs bill or we’d rather wait until next year.

In addition, we want to strengthen the bill by restoring some of the provisions that were taken out in order to get the House to accept the Senate bill.  Please ask your Senator to:

• Restore the requirement that wastewater treatment facilities in spring zones meet a 3 mg/L nitrogen discharge standard.

• Restore the requirement that agricultural producers in spring zones implement best management practices.

• Set a deadline in the bill for the Department of Health to complete its study and approve a passive nitrogen removing system so the prohibition on new septic tanks in spring zones can be restored.

Please call Senator Simmons at (850) 487-5010 or email him at and thank him for his leadership, but tell him to not accept a weak Springs bill, and to add back these key provisions—or wait until next year to submit a springs bill that will make a real difference and have the enthusiastic support of FNPS members.

In addition, please contact your own senator about this critical bill. To find your senator and contact information for them go to

We appreciate any action you've already taken in response to the Alert we sent out last week.  Now we need to keep up the pressure and let the Legislature know where FNPS stands on the protection of Florida's springs, and the natural communities that depend on them.

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Types of Issues Addressed by FNPS

  • General areas considered to be of statewide FNPS significance
  • Any Florida legislative action that affects our state environmental land acquisition program known as Florida Forever, which includes Florida Communities Trust and/or any other state agency funded through Florida Forever (DEP). This includes, but is not limited to, any legislation affecting funding of the program. It also includes the urgent need to fund the Florida Forever program.
  • All state and local land acquisition efforts for preservation and conservation.
  • Any statewide policy changes that enhance improve or further natural resource system protection within recognized preserves and/or reserve or state park refuge.
  • Development issues that are regional or have statewide significance in that they affect a change in Florida policy towards land acquisition, natural resource systems or waters of the state, but only if the issue clearly relates to the FNPS mission to preserve, conserve and restore native plants and native plant communities.
  • Any state legislative, state agency or state university action that would affect the viability (or lack thereof) of native plants and native plant communities. This includes, but is not limited to, state policy on exotic invasive species, water conservation, listed plant species, and cataloging of native plant communities.

General areas considered not to be of statewide significance include

  • Issues that are primarily related to managing the way a local jurisdiction grows or the methods it uses to plan growth. Unless it can be shown to meet criteria number four in the previous section.
  • Issues that are primarily transportation related unless the issue is of at least regional significance and would impact an established preserve/reserve/state park refuge/or a functional ecologically sensitive ecosystem.
  • Issues that involve local jurisdictional ordinances or land development codes.