EDITOR'S NOTE: The Santiva Chronicle publishes opinions and letters on topics that are important to Sanibel and Captiva. They may be submitted via e-mail at news@santivachronicle.com.

There is an age old adage that fits our current water crises perfectly, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Having lived on Sanibel for more than thirty years I’ve seen repeated onslaughts of polluted water flooding our estuary. I remember the piles of red drift algae in 2005 and over the years witnessing outbreaks of red tide and blue green algae. I have never seen anything with the magnitude of our recent toxic nightmare and November 6th, 2018 is the day we can finally make a sea change.

For the past twenty years Florida has been run by Republican Governors and for the most part, a Republican legislature. During these two decades the water quality surrounding Sanibel and Captiva has gotten worse. Much worse.

In 2014 Florida voters approved Amendment #1 by an astounding 75%. That amendment was designed to set aside 33% of State Documentary Stamp revenues to purchase and preserve conservation land. Not only did Rick Scott and the Republican legislature ignore the Amendment, whose monies could well have purchased thousands of acres in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) but they defended their decision against a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club and the Florida Wildlife Federation among others. This past June a Leon County Circuit Judge ruled in favor of the conservation groups and Rick Scott, along with his fellow Republicans, immediately appealed the ruling. In effect our present elected officials are suing us, with our money, to stop them from implementing an amendment we passed with 75% of the vote. Does that sound fair to you?

If that alone doesn’t bother you, then remember how many emails, phone calls and letters we sent to Rick Scott, his appointed members of the South Florida Water Management District and his fellow Republicans to exercise an option to purchase 46,800 acres of U.S. Sugar land in 2015. What did they do? They did nothing and let the option expire.

Now we have a chance to change course. We can promote Red Tide Rick Scott to becoming a Florida Senator where he will have the ability to bring his polluting talents to Washington where he can continue to lobby for Big Sugar, corporate polluters and special interests or we can keep Bill Nelson in office with his 71% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV). We can elect another Republican Governor in Ron DeSantis, who has a LCV lifetime score of 2% and hope that he will somehow have a change of character and solve our water woes. He will not. He is an “election cycle environmentalist” and once he is in office nothing will change. The real definition of insanity on November 6th is voting for either of these candidates. Think about it, then vote.

Charles Sobczak

Sanibel, FL