Protecting Florida's Natural Environment

Posted by Carmine Miranda

Five Rights of Nature constitutional amendment changes on the ballot in 2022. The first of the Rights of Nature ballot amendment proposals aims to expand the right to clean water measure statewide to give all citizens of Florida the right to clean water.

This is the initiative voters passed in Orange County last fall. The amendment would recognize as legally enforceable the rights of all waterways across Florida to “exist, flow, be free from pollution, and maintain a healthy ecosystem.” The amendment also provides that any Floridian or Florida organization is allowed to file a legal action on behalf of those waterways, and it recognizes that every Floridian has a legal right to clean water.

The second proposed amendment--- the Florida iconic species amendment-- creates a new, protected category of wildlife. It would safeguard 10 different species of wildlife from recreational and commercial hunting, as well as protecting their habitats. It includes the Florida Panther, the Florida black bear, the manatee and the bottlenose dolphin, among other species.

The third is a Florida wetlands protection amendment, that would make it illegal to dredge and fill wetlands in the state. The fourth prohibits captive wildlife hunting in the state of Florida. According to the Humane Society, Captive hunting operations—also known as "shooting preserves," "canned hunts," or "game ranches"—are private, fenced in, trophy hunting facilities that offer customers the opportunity to kill exotic and native species.

This initiative is meant to prevent animal cruelty, limit the spread of disease, preserve native wildlife and protect public health.

And the fifth proposed rights of nature amendment is a ban on building toll roads through conservation and rural areas.

Please go to this website to obtain the needed documents: