Target: Joe Negron, Florida State Senator
Goal: Don’t route potentially explosive pipeline near the Crystal River habitat, an important manatee refuge.
The manatees which have long called Florida’s Crystal River home may find themselves in jeopardy should a new natural gas pipeline run dangerously near the wildlife preserve. Spectra Energy, the owners of the slated pipeline, plan to have it connect with the Florida Southeast Connection pipeline and link up with a Duke Energy power plant located near the Crystal River habitat.
As many Floridians know, Crystal River is famous for being a seasonal sanctuary for many manatees who enjoy lazing about its waterways during the fall and winter months. These gentle beasts are susceptible to various environmental stresses, such as from toxic chemicals polluting their waterways. Without access to clean freshwater, they will perish.
The proposed pipeline route would affect over 900 acres of wetlands and would threaten the delicate Suwanee River habitat as well, which also shelters a number of endangered species. Additionally, the pipeline could pose a significant risk to Florida’s fragile limestone aquifer, which is one of the largest natural aquifers in the world. This would have a catastrophic domino effect throughout Florida’s many water-dependent ecosystems.
Natural gas pipelines pose significant environmental risks wherever they are routed, with the ever-looming threat of methane leaks or ruptures being a constant concern. Spectra Energy has had a record of accidents and violations in the past, including most recently an incident in 2015 on the Arkansas River which required the complete shutdown of almost 2 miles of waterway. This track record poses a greater risk to Florida’s vulnerable manatee population than is acceptable. Sign this petition to demand that the Sabal Trail Pipeline not be allowed to pass so dangerously near the Crystal River habitat.
Dear State Senator Negron,
I am writing to urge you to prohibit Spectra Energy from routing the Sabal Trail pipeline so near to the sensitive Crystal River habitat. It is alarming that the proposed route of the natural gas pipeline would run so close to one of the most important sanctuaries for vulnerable manatees, which are protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
I am sure that you will agree that Florida’s natural beauty and unique wildlife are well worth protecting for future generations to enjoy. The environmental risks posed by this pipeline could have permanent and devastating effects on the state’s diverse and sensitive ecosystems, including the larger Floridan Aquifer, one of the largest natural aquifer systems in the world. This is to say nothing of the many Floridians who call the region home who would also likely be impacted should an accident occur.
Spectra Energy has a worrisome track record when it comes to pipeline safety. As recently as 2015, a major rupture on a pipeline on the Arkansas River resulted in a cleanup effort stretching over two miles near Little Rock. Before that, Spectra Energy was the target of hefty fines in excess of $100,000 for multiple safety violations. With so many lives on the line, profits cannot come before safety.
I am calling on you to help to ensure that Florida’s waterways will be protected, along with its iconic and beloved manatees. Please tell Spectra Energy that these sanctuaries are strictly off-limits.
[Your Name Here]
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