By Chris Fish
PALM BAY -- High-profile members of the Space Coast community are making a commitment for cleaner water, following the signing of a declaration in January.
On Wednesday, Jan. 22, Palm Bay Councilwoman Michele Paccione signed a Clean Water Declaration in front of the Palm Bay City Hall Annex Building.
Councilwoman Paccione signed the declaration in partnership with the Brevard Coalition for Indian River Lagoon Call to Action and the Clean Water Summit Coalition.
The declaration is part of an ongoing effort, known as the Floridians' Clean Water Declaration Campaign, which features more than 100 different civic, water and environmental organizations and elected city, county and state officials.
The day featured various Florida communities at risk from toxic algae and the unrestrained, over-consumption of water resources, joining forces in signing the declaration at simultaneous "Commit to Clean Water" events.
"I felt that I was standing in solidarity with other cities and my community by signing the Floridian Clean Water Declaration," Councilwoman Paccione said. "I love my city, and I want to protect our environment. Palm Bay sits on the beautiful, but fragile and dying, Indian River Lagoon."
Councilwoman Paccione said that protecting the Indian River Lagoon is crucial for Brevard County.
"It needs protection from further damage and pollution, which includes fertilizers and other contaminants," she said. "We have the opportunity right now to help the healing process of our Lagoon by passing a strong fertilizer ordinance in Palm Bay, along with educating our citizens on how to be good stewards of our environment."
Councilwoman Paccione said that she will work to educate the public about the importance of water preservation in the near future.
The declaration states the following: "This Declaration is a positive vision to inspire people to work together to create a new water ethic, find solutions to Florida's water quality and quantity problems and send a clear message to our state and all water managers that people of Florida demand clean water."
Singings also took place in Melbourne, as well as Boynton Beach, Bradenton, Ft. Myers, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Key West, Orlando, Palatka, Naples, Ocala, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa and Vero Beach.