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Wakulla Wetlands Advocates Rally Support From Sierra Club

By: Lanetra Bennett
September 12, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Efforts to save an ordinance that protects the wetlands there are growing.

"It's very simple, we would like to continue to protect the local protection of Wakulla County's wetlands." Says, Wakulla County Commissioner Howard Kessler.

Protecting the wetlands ordinance may not be simple.

The Wakulla Wetlands Alliance has to get 5,600 signatures from the roughly 18,000 registered voters in Wakulla County for the group's petition.

There is a proposal to do away with the wetlands ordinance, which keeps development out of the 75-foot protection zone of the wetlands.

The petition asks that the ordinance only be changed by citizen vote, or by a unanimous vote of all five commissioners.

The alliance chairman, Victor Lambou, and Commissioner Kessler, the sole commissioner who supports the ordinance, both spoke to the Tallahassee Sierra Club Thursday night to rally support.

Lambou says, "Our main business is tourism. People come there to fish and hunt, to sight-see, bird-watch, and all that is greatly dependent upon wetlands."

Those who oppose the ordinance don't agree with the regulations.

Commissioner Kessler says the ordinance protects the wetlands better than state regulations.

He says, "Provide more of an opportunity for the wetlands to thrive, for the ecology of the wetlands to thrive, for our water to be filtered, for our flooding to be reduced. For many, many reasons, wetlands are very valuable."

The Wakulla Wetlands Alliance held a meeting in Wakulla County around the same time this meeting was going on. They are asking for volunteers to help pass out the petitions.

The issue is on the agenda for the next Wakulla County Commission meeting on September 16th at 7 p.m.

If the number of petition signatures are not reached within six months, the proposal to end the ordinance could go through.


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