It’s great to see the tourism and boat industries step up to ensure that we protect our environment in South Florida (“Fix water quality or Florida tourism will suffer, fishing and boating industries warn,” March 15). But there is another issue both industries should also be more vocal in opposing: fracking.
The Florida Legislature is still deciding how to distribute billions of dollars in damages from the Gulf oil spill that also affected the tourism and fishing industries in Florida. A Harvard study found that coastal communities south of the Panhandle lost 50,000 jobs after the spill and a UF study estimated that recreational anglers lost $585 million because of the spill.
While no one expects another cataclysmic event like Deepwater Horizon, it is well known that the fracking industry often spills and leaks the toxic chemicals it uses. These spills will have direct impact on water resources and an indirect impact on the image of our beautiful Sunshine State.
Several counties, including Miami-Dade, have already passed measures opposing fracking. Miami-Dade’s state legislators should be working to ban fracking statewide. The tourism and fishing industries should be right there with them.
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Suzanne Riger, Food & Water Watch, Miami