Green Industries Activism
Over the life of EREF, we have all seen a lot of environmental “activism” taking place. It covers a broad range of opinion, attitude and accuracy (or lack thereof!).
Part of the evolution of EREF has been in how to best serve the Green Industries in order to deal with that broad range of activities, particularly when it starts to impact policy making at all levels of regulation and government – including water management districts, local/regional water authorities and city / county / state governments. We have seen efforts in each of these arenas aimed at changing what we do and how we do it. More often than not, if left unchecked, these changes hurt us and our business unfairly, unnecessarily or disproportionately.
Having spent over twenty years dealing with water-management issues, I can attest to the complexity of the subject and how overwhelming it can seem when in the midst of a rulemaking, regulatory or legislative process that imposes negative consequences on the industry. But as importantly, I have been involved in enough of these processes to say that in many cases, there is a core of people from the relevant stakeholder groups who really want to find a workable solution for everyone. I think it is in our nature to be problem solvers and so this is the “sweet spot” where we really need to try to be.
That said, there are going to be exceptions too – extremists who will never be happy with anything less than the eradication of man’s footprint from the State of Florida. I won’t name any names but you can picture some of these folks from past dust-ups who would portray you and what you do as monstrous, and who will say incredibly scary and untrue things about the impacts of improved lawns and landscapes in order to move public opinion toward bad policies.
Listen, I know you and the heart of this industry, and better yet, you know it yourselves. Some of the most inspirational messages I have heard in these discussions around the state about water quality and water use come from those of you who live and work in the business every day, and who would never endanger the beauty and special nature of Florida’s water resources for any reason.
We say it over and over because we need to – the Green Industries have been developing, improving and implementing highly-effective practices for decades, which have been integral to virtually every clean-water and water conservation outcome out there – Tampa Bay being an excellent example (more about that soon).
When we get down to it, EREF and its industry partners and friends, have to take their positive message to others to let them know what we do and how we do it. We have to win the hearts and minds of the public and ultimately those who are responsible for policy making that impacts us. We intend to accomplish that with research, education, good science and collaboration – but we’ll certainly fight if we need to!
Keep Living Green Florida!