Environmentalists Protest New South Florida Water District Leader
Environmentalists are protesting the appointment of a new executive director to the South Florida Water Management District. They say Pete Antonacci's appointment is another example of growing state influence in Florida's five water districts.
Antonacci had been Governor Rick Scott's general counsel. He lacks a background in science.
Charles Lee of Audubon of Florida says Antonacci is an advocate of the environment. But Lee says water management decisions should be guided by local scientists rather than state leaders.
Antonacci said for Floridians, "...it translates into botched decisions that may mean their house will flood. It translates into decisions that may mean a piece of cherished conservation land the district bought to preserve 10 years ago is now put on the auction block."
The governor says Antonacci’s appointment was the water district’s decision.
The South Florida Water Management District is the largest of the state's five water districts. It's territory includes Osceola and Orange counties.
The water district manages the region's waterways, provides flood control and oversees Everglades restoration.