This ad, an open letter from Orvis CEO Perk Perkins, ran in the Miami Herald yesterday:
Dear Governor Scott and members of the Florida Legislature,
You stand at the threshold of being able with your leadership to solve a problem that has existed for decades and is accelerating in its destruction of one of the world’s great ecological treasures. There is a tipping point in every battle when a fight is won or lost, and in regard to the Everglades we are there. The very nature of southern Florida and this irreplaceable ecosystem hangs in the balance both environmentally and economically. The Everglades ecosystem supports 1.3 million jobs and represents $109 billion dollars to Florida’s economy in recreation and tourism by the very nature of its beauty, but that ecosystem is collapsing and Florida must act now to save it. History will be made here, one way or the other.
There is an answer. The opportunity has never been better to enact a long-term permanent solution to the tragic decline of the Everglades. Climatic, scientific, economic, and political forces are all in place and this must happen now or we may lose our best chance to save it. More than 200 Everglades scientists agree that increased storage, treatment, and conveyance of water south of Lake Okeechobee is necessary as a long-term solution to both the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries, and the increasing damage to Florida Bay and the Everglades. Seventy-five percent of Florida voters approved Amendment 1 to fund the acquisition of the land necessary.
The legislation to guide this effort is in play with Senator Bradley’s SB 10 and Representative Altman’s HB 761. We need your leadership to see this through.
As the CEO of The Orvis Company we commit 5 percent of our pretax profits to conservation and to date have raised more than $20 million dollars with our customers in our commitment to protect our natural resources. This year we are focused on total devotion to the Now or Neverglades Campaign. Our customers have the wealth, power, and influence to accomplish far beyond what we as a company could ever do, and our goal is to inspire and focus them on this campaign. With your leadership we have the opportunity and the duty to bring to bear all the resources necessary to save this unique and spectacular ecosystem, a symbol of Florida, and the engine for a substantial piece of Florida’s economy. Please act now for the good of your state, your residents, and all of us who love the natural wonder that is Florida.
CEO, The Orvis Company, Inc.
Want to help? Tell Florida’s leaders to support SB 10 to build the EAA Reservoir. Text the word “WATER” to 52886.