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Gamechanger? FL5.org Seeks 5 Referendums for 2022

July 19, 2021 | FL5.org Referendums, The Bradenton Times

BRADENTON — Water quality and other environmental issues are pressing matters of grave concern to many Floridians who remain frustrated by political inaction from our elected officials. FL5.org is trying to change that by putting five conservation amendments to the referendum on the 2022 ballot.

Voters can join the call to action by visiting the FL5.org website and requesting a petition for any and all referendum issues that will then be emailed to them. Once printed, voters can mail in the petition to assist the group in getting enough signatures to get the issue(s) onto the ballot. The ballot referendums being sought are:


Prohibits pollution of Florida’s waters by recognizing a right to clean water for all Floridians and Florida waters, including the Everglades, Florida Springs, the Indian River Lagoon, the St. Johns River, the Caloosahatchee River, Biscayne Bay, Tampa Bay, Pensacola Bay and all other waters within the state; provides for local lawmaking to protect clean water, and provides for enforcement and severability.


Enhances protection for Florida wetlands, both naturally occurring and man-made, by prohibiting the draining, dredging, filling or other degradation of Florida wetlands, thereby preventing harmful effects such actions have on the ecosystems of wetlands, native wildlife, and the environmental health of Florida.


Prohibits the construction or expansion of toll roads on conservation and rural lands because they destroy natural systems, divide wildlife corridors, and place an increased burden on working families with excessive expenses, decreasing the quality of life for all Floridians.


Enhances protection for the Florida Black Bear, Florida Panther, Manatee, Key Deer, Florida Scrub Jay, Bald Eagle, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Bottlenose Dolphin, Right Whale, and Marine Turtles iconic to Florida by banning recreational and commercial hunting of those species and providing a private right of action.


Prohibits captive wildlife hunting in the state of Florida to prevent animal cruelty, preserve and protect Florida native lands, limit disease transmission, protect the public health of Florida citizens, and preserve and protect wildlife species.

“The Right to Clean Water and other four constitutional amendments of FL5.org are a response to the fact that our environmental regulatory system clearly isn’t working, and Floridians want our waterways and ecosystems protected,” said Joseph Bonasia, Vice-Chair and SWFL Regional Director of the Florida Rights of Nature Movement. “Look at Orange County, where 89 percent of voters approved their Right to Clean Water Charter Amendment last year. 89 percent! That shows how highly Floridians value clean water and healthy ecosystems, how vital we know they are to our health and economy, how frustrated we are with a system that has failed us for decades, and how citizens are ready to provide the necessary protections themselves.”

Bonasia said Floridians should look at the referendums as a way to take control of a desperate situation.

“These amendments are about empowering citizens to act effectively to protect our natural treasures when the system doesn’t.”