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.