Lose weight. Quit smoking. Get rid of clutter.
These are the most popular resolutions we make every year. We all promise to lose 15 (ok, 25) pounds or to quit a bad habit. A small percentage of us do achieve the goals that we set on January 1. Most of us end up making the same resolutions every New Year’s Day.
I will be making my own long list, just like I do every year, of resolutions to make 2022 a better year. I also have some resolutions for policymakers and leaders about what they can do to improve Floridians lives in the next year.
Resolution:Don’t give in to special interests. Put Florida’s people first.
Suggestions:Make laws that protect the environment, and keep its waters clean. Instead of spending money on highway construction in areas that aren’t needed, use those dollars to build highway underpasses where large land mammals like endangered panthers or black bears won’t be killed by the road.
Gov. Ron DeSantis
Resolution:Stop wasting time on anti-vaxxers or anti-maskers, and instead work on issues that will improve Floridians’ lives.
Suggestions:DeSantis will likely win the Florida gubernatorial elections and then switch gears to run in 2024 for president. He could then focus entirely on getting Florida’s water to the end. In his first week of office, the governor stepped out of the box by making great decisions that helped clean up the mess created by Sen. Rick Scott. There has been little follow-up.The Blue Green Algae Task ForceRecommendations or solidify positions DeSantis established such as chief resilience officer, chief science officer, and head of Departmentof Environmental Protection. These posts should be a top priority.
Army Corps of Engineers
Resolution:Reread the Lake Okeechobee System Opera Manual to determine how many discharges will be directed towards the coastal estuaries, and how much volume.
Suggestions:Keep more water north. Send more water south. Water supply should be prioritized less than the environmental damage. This system is too water-intensive.
President Joe Biden
Resolution:It is important to work faster and harder to resolve supply chain issues in American-based manufacturing like the boatbuilding industry.
Suggestions:The Amtrak passenger train service will be buoyed by $66 billion of fundsThe Build Back Better Bill is a waste. It throws good money after bad. You can take a fraction of this money and use it to train marine workers and help manufacturers obtain materials to make outboard motors and other parts that are in high demand. Because so many parts are in demand, new boats cannot be delivered. Deliveries are delayed for six months or longer by consumers.
Florida Departmentof Environmental Protection
Resolution:Make sure you have laws that protect Florida’s lands, waters, and stop polluters. Then hold them responsible for cleanup.
Suggestions:These four divisions need to be staffed more Ecosystems restoration, emergency response, general counsel and law enforcement. This is not about increasing government. This is about making Florida the national model for how to manage fragile natural resources. Florida should not be a place where disasters like Piney Point happen.
Save the Manatee Club
Resolution:Protect manatees and water quality first.
Suggestions:Support seagrass restoration efforts, and shift organizational priority to ensure water quality is a top concern for the organization moving forward. For far too long, Save the Manatee ClubIt has concentrated most of its energy to be an anti-boater organisation as Florida’s waters are degraded.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Resolution:Improve the management of wildlife and fish.
Suggestions:Start by estimating the actual manatee population in Florida waters. None have been attempted since 2019. Due to warmer-than-average temperatures in 2020, followed in 2021 by COVID. While I am aware that society was affected by the pandemic, the past year has provided us with the best reasons why these population numbers are important. FWC staff and media members have been circulating death statistics that 30% of the population died this year. However, no one knows how many manatees are there. We need this information to help the manatees, as there have been more than 1000 deaths this year.
Companies in boating technology
Resolution:Technology that saves lives can be improved.
Suggestions:Automobiles can stop in the event of a collision. Why don’t we see this feature in boating technology? If it is possible, could it prevent collisions of manatees with sea turtles?
Radar allows boaters to see objects before they collide with them, even at night. Yet, we still see boaters smashing into granite jetties, channel markers, and other boats. Side-scan sonar is able to tell anglers what species of fish are 30 feet to the side and 15ft below the boat, but it cannot detect if a manatee is moving in the channel 50 feet in front of the bow. These could be used to interface with the motors of a boat’s engine, so that power can be turned off before anything happens.
TCPalm’s outdoors writer is Ed Killer. Sign up for his weekly newsletters and others at profile.tcpalm.com/newsletters/manage. Facebook friend Ed Ed KillerFollow him on Twitter @tcpalmekiller or email him email@example.com.