Putnam Stresses Importance of Partnerships to Restore Environment
Weston, Florida (FDACS) — Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam delivered today’s keynote speech at the 26th Annual Everglades Coalition Conference. Putnam is the first Commissioner of Agriculture to participate in this annual event.
“Restoring the Northern Everglades is a tremendous opportunity for partnership between the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and organizations here today,” said Commissioner Putnam.
Commissioner Putnam shared his plans to create a working group that will include the agriculture industry and environmental organizations and will work to identify additional federal funding opportunities to support the state’s restoration efforts.
Commissioner Putnam highlighted new and innovative ways for government agencies and organizations to work together to balance restoration goals with economic stability, including the Wetland Reserve Program, Wildlife Best Management Practices Development and the Northern Everglades Pay for Environmental Services Program.
The Commissioner also emphasized one of his top priorities, improving the quality and quantity of the state’s water. “The greatest long term issue facing our state is water,” said Commissioner Putnam. “Whether you are a citrus grower, rancher or environmental advocate, our biggest issue is Florida’s water policy.”
This year’s conference theme, Renewal of Life for the Everglades: Moving Forward Together, recognizes both the importance of restoring the abundance of life that makes the Everglades an international natural treasure and the need to work cooperatively to advance our common goals of Everglades restoration.
The four-day event, which kicked-off Thursday, also featured U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Ann Mills and Former Senator Bob Graham.
While in South Florida, Commissioner Putnam also met with Carole Wehle, Executive Director of South Florida Water Management District, and Representative Trudi Williams, Chair of the House Select Committee on Water Policy and the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee, among others, to discuss water and natural resource policy for the state of Florida. Additionally, the Commissioner met with Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming, Regional Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to discuss nutrient numeric criteria.
For more information about Commissioner Putnam and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit http://www.FreshFromFlorida.com.