Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Recognizes Earth Day

Apr 22, 2016
Press Release
Clean Environment, Healthy Oceans Critical to Florida

“No Drilling Off the Gulf Coast” 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, today recognized the 46th annual Earth Day, saying Florida’s Gulf Coast must remain off limits to oil drilling.

“A clean and healthy ocean is vital to sustaining Florida’s thriving economy and attracting millions of tourists and new residents each year,” Buchanan said. “Everyone should be focused on protecting the environment.”

Since arriving in Congress in 2007, Buchanan has championed several measures that would guard the Sunshine state’s waterways and beaches. A longtime opponent of offshore drilling near Florida’s pristine coastline, Buchanan is a co-sponsor of the Preserving Florida’s Coastal Communities Act (H.R. 2630), which would prohibit drilling within 125 miles of Florida’s shores in the Gulf of Mexico until 2027. Under current law, such drilling is prohibited until 2022.

“Florida is truly one of Earth’s crown jewels and we are all lucky to call the Gulf Coast home. We should all take a moment to appreciate the pristine beauty of Southwest Florida, including the beaches, wetlands and forests,” Buchanan said. “Like many in our community, I think that we should take every effort to preserve these natural gifts for the next generation – and my record in Congress reflects that.”

To protect native coral and preserve healthy seas, Buchanan introduced the Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act (H.R. 2553), bipartisan legislation that promotes further research into the potentially devastating effects of ocean acidification. 

Additionally, Buchanan has also fought to protect iconic Florida animals, such as the manatee and panther. Earlier this month he was awarded the prestigious Legislator of the Year award from The Humane Society of the United States for his leadership on fighting animal cruelty and protecting endangered species.

Buchanan also recently co-sponsored bipartisan legislation (H.R. 4667) that would direct the federal government to expedite necessary repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike, which has been rated as “critically near failure” by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. If this structure were to collapse, it would flood populated areas as well as the delicate wetlands ecosystem of the Everglades with waters from Lake Okeechobee.