Manatees are Dying as the Florida Legislature Rakes in Corporate Polluter Cash
Florida’s manatees are starving to death. Over 500 manatees have died in 2022 so far. And last year, more than 1,000 manatees starved to death, having seen their main source of food, seagrass, die off due to human-caused algae blooms. These algae blooms are caused by massive amounts of industrial fertilizer. Large corporations produce a majority of this pollution, yet the taxpayers are paying to fix it.
The State of Florida is ground zero for our climate crisis and other environmental dangers and disasters. For instance, Florida is projected to have more dangerous heat days a year than any other state. Despite the need for policy change towards protecting Floridians from environmental disaster, the most recent legislative session showed that many Florida legislators would rather help large corporations over the people and animals of Florida.
Corporations like FPL, Florida Crystals, Petland, and more benefit from corporate tax giveaways and several policies that hurt the environment. The money given to these corporations could have gone towards preventative measures to protect the environment. Instead, Corporate polluters were given tax breaks after the Florida Legislature received huge sums of campaign contributions. Floridians deserve to live in a state where maintaining a beautiful environment for Florida’s residents and visitors receives as much attention and concern from our Legislature as the deep pocketed industries which pollute our waters.
Corporate Polluters and the Influence They Had on the Florida Legislature
|Corporate Influence||Donation||Why We Should Care|
|AIF (Associated Industries of Florida) representing: Florida Crystals||$460,000||The Legislature passed SB2508, a bill that rewarded sugar companies by giving control over the water that is stored in Lake Okeechobee to large corporations like Florida Crystals and U.S. Sugar Corporation. It ended up being vetoed.|
|United States Sugar Corporation||$1.4 million||The Legislature passed SB 1000, which contributes to the ongoing pollution of seagrass beds by allowing the citrus industry to use more fertilizer on their land.|
• Fertilizer runoff by citrus companies, as well as other agribusiness, has added to the shrinking of seagrass beds.
Corporate Influence:Sea World
|• The legislative session gave money going towards zoos and aquarium programs like SeaWorld.||•This money could have gone to preventive measures against pollution that could save manatees and other sea animals. |
• Instead, this legislation chose to allocate money to Sea World. The manatees are still dying.