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SWFL Residents Concerned About Climate Change, Survey Says

Jennifer Watson Roberts is the director of ecoAmerica’s Path to Positive Communities program, which conducted the survey.";

According to a recent survey, a majority of Southwest Floridians are concerned about climate change.  

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida and two local community foundations commissioned the survey. It was conducted by ecoAmerica, and its climate change-related questions were directed toward a demographically representative group of people.

Out of nearly 800 responses to the online survey, 93 percent agreed that local, state and federal governments should do more to protect different aspects of the environment, like mangroves and wetlands.

Jennifer Watson Roberts, the director of ecoAmerica’s Path to Positive Communities program, said the survey results show a consensus among Southwest Florida residents that climate change is real and it’s impacting the community.

“There are quite a few conservatives, quite a few of Republicans in the area, and the consensus is that their health is being harmed; the government has a responsibility,” Watson Roberts said. “Clean air and clean water is a right.”

The survey found that extreme weather events like Hurricane Irma, harmful algal blooms and toxic algae outbreaks changed the perception of climate change for many Southwest Floridians.

More than half of the respondents also expressed a desire for urgency from the government, demanding action and solutions.