Protestors take to the streets to demand clean water
Southwest Florida’s water crisis was on the minds of those who decided to get out and protest on Sunday.
“We don’t want to have another catastrophe on our beaches or anywhere in our waters in the state of Florida like we did two years ago,” said Angela Braunig of Bonita Springs.
People across Florida joined in on the statewide day of action by demanding clean water. They walked across bridges and held signs all to bring attention to the water crisis.
“Economically we depend on tourism, we depend on our beaches. There’s a lot here that our focus is around our waterways,” George Cutting said, who organized Southwest Florida’s event.
Looking just off the bridge, you can observe what Cutting is referring to. People were out on the water Sunday enjoying their boats and the sun. Businesses had customers coming and out to enjoy the views. But two years, things looked a little different.
“We came out here because we want to see changes. Like right now we’re experiencing discharge,” said Cutting. “Soon [we] will be experiencing discharges from Lake Okeechobee and it has a lot to do a lot with our local area with these dirty discharges. So, we feel there’s a need to come out here, stand up and say something about it.”
“The damage has been done and I still think we’re still trying to recover from it,” Braunig said.
That recovery runs deeper than just the water in Southwest Florida. Organizers like Cutting and participants like Braunig are demanding that the State of Florida make immediate reforms to its environmental laws.
“Whether you know it or not this is going to affect everyone. It may not be today or tomorrow, but it will be.”Whether you know it or not this is going to affect everyone. It may not be today or tomorrow, but it will be,” she said.
“These are personal responsibilities you need to look into yourself. What are your impacts on the environment? What are your impacts to our waterways?” Cutting said.
The group is asking for over a dozen reforms and focusing on the impacts water has on people’s health. They say $26 billion is going towards new toll roads instead of environmental restoration projects.