Citizens in Florida are hoping to get 900,000 signatures on a petition titled "Florida Right to Clean Water" initiative, which would grant natural bodies of water the "right to exist" and be pollution-free. The petition was started by the Florida Rights of Nature Network, whose vice chair and regional director Joe Bonasia believes it would ensure clean water for all Floridians.
"It aims to amend our state constitution. It wants to do what the voters in Orange County did last November," Bonasia explained to FOX4. He argued that in November 2020, 89% of voters in Orange County voted in favor of the amendment, which passed the charter.
"That law gave every citizen in Orange County the right to clean water and it gave their waterways some basic rights," Bonasia explained. The "Florida Right to Clean Water" initiative will provide natural bodies of water "the right to exist, the flow to be free of pollution because nothing else has worked."
The proposed amendment names several bodies of water in Florida to have "a right to clean water, and that right shall include the rights of those waters to exist, flow, be free from pollution, and maintain a healthy ecosystem." It also tasks "any resident, nongovernmental organization, or government entity" of Florida to "have standing to enforce and defend the rights secured by this section in any court possessing proper jurisdiction."
These bodies of water will have the right to "enforce and defend" its rights "through an action brought by any resident, nongovernmental organization, or government entity" of Florida. This means that anyone looking to build structures or facilities anywhere near these bodies of water that would hamper its flow may be sued by the public, government, or anyone upholding the would-be law.
But this proposed measure was also met with some detractors. Wesley Smith of LifeNews wrote that the "Florida Right to Clean Water" initiative has a hidden agenda, saying that it has a "misleading title" and that it would "create a radical environmental regime that would hamper Floridians from making proper uses of water resources."
Its defined "rights" would also grant it "human rights" such as the "right to exist." He pointed out that if this proposal becomes law, there would be no more dams, flood control projects, diversion of natural waterways, swamp draining, and other projects that benefit humans.
Smith warned that this proposal is supported by "a lot of radical green money" which can help propel it forward into law. He argued that granting "rights" to water is "anti-human," especially in the face of so many babies being killed in abortion-63 million to be exact.
According to Guttmacher Institute, 71,050 abortions were provided in Florida in 2017 and the rate of abortion in the state declined by 10% between 2014 and 2017. Abortion continues to be legal in Florida, but public funding for abortions is only possible only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.