Friday, January 17, 2020

Tell the EPA to keep floating factory farms out of our public waters!

What:    Public hearing on proposed industrial ocean fish farm permit
When:   Tuesday, January 28, 5:30 – 9:30 PM
Where:  WAVE Center @ Mote Marine Laboratory
     1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236

Go here to RSVP!  

Unprecedented red tides outbreaks in have ravaged our coastline over and over again but instead of cracking down on industries that pollute our waters, Trump’s EPA wants to open up the Gulf to industrial ocean fish farms! They want to give Kampachi Farms a permit for a floating factory farm 40 miles off our shores – a sure way to further distress the balance of our ocean ecosystem, negatively impact our public health, and threaten our local economy!

Industrial ocean fish farming—or offshore finfish aquaculture—is the mass cultivation of captive finfish in net pens, pods, and cages that:
  • Discharge toxins such as untreated fish waste, excess feed, agricultural drugs and pesticides, heavy metals and chemicals.
  • Contribute to the spread of disease and pests that threaten wild fish stocks and other marine wildlife.
  • Threaten marine mammals, sea turtles, sharks seabirds, and other marine life by entangling them in netting and cages.
  • Risk the wild fish stocks upon which that sustainable seafood producers rely.
  • Release fish food and the waste it becomes that contributes to nutrient pollution that fuels algal blooms and red tide outbreaks.

Industrial fish farm operations across the world have been linked to all of the above. With overwhelming evidence of the devastating effects that off -coast industrial fish farming has, Washington state and Denmark have taken action to ban these practices. The hearing in Sarasota is especially significant as it would be the first license requested from the EPA for federal waters. The outcome of this permit decision could set a dangerous precedent for our state and country that would pave the way for more fish farms off our coasts and in public waters. This is why we need to make a stand now.   

Industrial ocean fish farms are not the answer to meeting seafood demand. If anything, our government should be building more support for sustainable seafood production alternatives to meet our nation’s food security needs. Offshore fish farming endangers our way of life, our tourist economy, and our wildlife.

Will you stand with us? The time is now.

Tell the EPA to keep floating factory farms out of our public waters!

What:   Public hearing on proposed industrial ocean fish farm permit.
When:  Tuesday, January 28, 5:30 – 9:30
Where: WAVE Center @ Mote Marine Laboratory
    1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236

Pre-register here.  You are encouraged to pre-register at least 72 hours in advance but you may also register to speak when you arrive at the hearing. 

Need a ride?  Want to carpool?  Contact Michael McGrath at 

Monday, January 13, 2020

For Immediate Release                                         
January 13, 2020
Frank Jackalone, 727-824-8813, EXT. 302 (o), 727-804-1317 (c),


Governor DeSantis receives a “D”

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (January 13, 2020) – Today Sierra Club Florida released its Governor’s Report Card for 2019 at a press conference at the Florida Capitol Rotunda. The Report Card is designed to give a snapshot of the Governor’s performance on environmental issues of significant importance to the Sierra Club.

According to Chapter Director Frank Jackalone, “Governor DeSantis is an improvement over his predecessor, but he has a long way to go in addressing the climate disaster Florida is facing. We cannot elevate every building risking sea level rise or clean up water pollution at taxpayer expense. The Governor must address pollution at its source and address climate change by moving Florida to 100% clean renewable energy.”

Overall, the Governor received a “D” for his efforts in 2019. He received a failing grade in 5 of 13 categories; including signing legislation authorizing 3 new toll roads in rural Florida, having ineffective water quality plans for Florida’s springs and rivers, and signing legislation that all but eliminates growth management in Florida by awarding costs to the prevailing party in legal challenges seeking to ensure that proposed developments are consistent with local comprehensive plans.

The Governor was awarded a “C” on his two top environmental initiatives: water quality and the Everglades. While pleased with the Governor’s appointments to the South Florida Water Management District and his advocacy for Everglades funding, the plan for the Everglades simply won’t work.

“For one thing, the planned stormwater treatment areas are grossly insufficient to protect the Everglades. Additionally, by not addressing the causes of climate change the Governor ignores the impending probability that the Everglades will be lost to sea level rise in the next 50 to 100 years,” said Jackalone.

Chapter Chair, Alyssa Cadwalader, noted that the Governor “has failed to lead on calling for full funding of Florida Forever and Rural & Family Lands. Land acquisition is one of best tools for improving water quality and reducing carbon emissions and instead we are paying for things like all the staff salaries for IT in the Department of Environmental Protection.”

The Report Card outlines what the Sierra Club believes Florida needs to move forward. Said Jackalone, “we don’t simply criticize; we lay out solutions that will lead to a better future for all of Florida’s citizens.” 

The Report Card may be viewed at

A chapter of the national Sierra Club, Sierra Club Florida is made up of volunteer leaders and civic activists representing over 230,000 members and supporters from all over the state.