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Environmentalists Protest New South Florida Water District Leader

The Everglades. Photo: National Parks Service

The Everglades. Photo: National Parks Service

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Environmentalists are protesting the appointment of a new executive director to the South Florida Water Management District.

They say Pete Antonacci’s appointment is another example of growing state influence in Florida’s five water districts.

Antonacci had been Gov. Rick Scott’s general counsel. He lacks a background in science.

Charles Lee of Audubon of Florida says Antonacci is an advocate of the environment. But Lee says water management decisions should be guided by local scientists rather than state leaders.

He says for Floridians “it translates into botched decisions that may mean their house will flood. It translates into decisions that may mean a piece of cherished conservation land the district bought to preserve 10 years ago is now put on the auction block.”

The governor says Antonacci’s appointment was the water district’s decision.

The South Florida Water Management District is the largest of the state’s five water districts. It’s territory includes Osceola and Orange counties.

The water district manages the region’s waterways, provides flood control and oversees Everglades restoration.

 


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist whose work has been heard on NPR and seen in PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor. She began her career at The Associated Press. Her book on the Everglades, under contract with Johns Hopkins ... Read Full Bio »

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