This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, which protects so much of America’s treasured natural, cultural and historic landscape.
Conserving America’s national parks should be a top priority for Congress. Recently, South Florida’s U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo voted against harmful amendments that would weaken protections for national parks’ air, water and wildlife.
While these votes were admirable, their overall record on parks has not been stellar. This year, Ros-Lehtinen and Curbelo introduced legislation deliberately designed to block a marine reserve that would protect Biscayne National Park’s imperiled coral reefs, dwindling fish populations and bring more fish back to South Florida. This is in spite of the fact the marine reserve received overwhelming public support and was endorsed by the South Florida community.
The proposed Preserving Public Access to Public Waters Act and CORAL Act undermine the Park Service’s ability to do its legal duty to protect America’s national parks.
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In this celebratory year for our parks, Ros-Lehtinen and Curbelo should withdraw their support of measures that threaten national parks and the health of one of South Florida’s most treasured places, Biscayne National Park.
Jack Curlett, Key Largo