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NFC: Fw: Action Alert: Help Stop the Everglades Airport!

Reef Relief - http://www.reefrelief.org

               REEF RELIEF Electronic Action Alert! 

                      December 11, 2000
Re: The closest major airport to a National Park in the U.S. 
    must be halted NOW! Ask President Clinton NOT to allow a
    commercial airport on the edge of two of America's most 
    beloved and imperiled national parks - Everglades and 
    Biscayne - and the Florida Keys National Marine 
    Sanctuary, containing the continental United States ONLY 
    Living Coral Reefs. 
    TAKE ACTION NOW! Our National Parks are Under Siege! 
The final Supplemental Environment Impact Statement (SEIS) 
on the development proposals for the Homestead Air Reserve 
Base is now available to the public. Free copies of the SEIS
(including a CD-ROM) can be requested by calling toll free:

                   1(888) 842-4749

Politically-connected developers and Miami-Dade Mayor Alex 
Penelas are pressuring the Clinton Administration to turn a 
former Air Force Base at Homestead, FL into a giant 
international cargo and passenger airport with 630 flights 
per day on the edge of Everglades and Biscayne National Parks. 
Please tell President Clinton that America's world-renowned 
and exceedingly fragile environmental resources must not be
sacrificed to local profiteers. 

The proposed Miami reliever airport would be the closest 
major commercial airport to a national park in the United 
States at 1.5 miles from Biscayne National Park, 8.5 miles 
from Everglades National Park and 10 miles from the Florida 
Keys National Marine Sanctuary. It would host more than 
230,000 flights per year (or 630 per day) in its first 
phase (similar to San Diego airport). This would be a plane 
every minute during daylight hours at low altitudes directly 
over both parks and the Sanctuary. 

The U.S. Department of Interior, the Environmental 
Protection Agency and the National Marine Fisheries 
Service all warn that the airport will irreparably harm 
the Parks. According to their comments, park visitors 
would be constantly bombarded by the high pitch blasts of 
engine turbines. There could be extensive damage to the 
coral reefs in Biscayne National Park and the Florida Keys 
Marine Sanctuary. Fish, mammals and birds in the parks and 
refuges would be threatened by airport runoff and fuel 
dumping, and the secondary development that would accompany 
the airport. Every major national environmental group is 
opposed to the airport. 

Polls show that a vast majority of Miami-Dade residents 
and Floridians oppose the airport proposal. Moreover, the 
Air Force reports that it received more than 7,000 comments 
against the airport or supporting an alternative, while 
only 200 wrote in favor of the airport. 

The airport also appears to be unnecessary. Civic leaders 
of Homestead and the surrounding South Dade region report 
that the area is enjoying an unprecedented economic boom. 
Pre-Hurricane Andrew unemployment figures have been cut in 
half and the number of workers in the area has increased. 
Moreover, recent data shows that Miami International Airport 
alone is predicted to have excess capacity for the next three 
decades and other South Florida airports have expanded their 
capacity too. 

Fortunately, there is an alternative plan for the air base 
property backed by environmental groups, the Department of 
the Interior and the US EPA. It is a tourism and office 
development called the Collier-Hoover plan. With adequate 
protections from the Department of Interior, it can provide 
tens of thousands of jobs without destroying the nearby 
national parks. 

But you need to call the White House and tell President 
Clinton to ditch the airport and transfer the base to the 
Dept. of Interior instead of Miami-Dade County. 

As Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt said, "What happens in 
Homestead will echo for the next 10 generations." If an 
international airport is allowed to destroy Florida's parks, 
no national park, from Yosemite to Acadia, is safe. 

    TAKE ACTION NOW! Our National Parks are Under Siege! 

                    ACTION NEEDED NOW!

   (After following the prompts, press '0' for a White 
    House Comments Line Operator)

                   CALLING IS PREFERRED!

Or you may cut and paste the following into an e-mail 
and send it to the White House along with your personal 
comments to: 

e-mail: president at whitehouse_gov 


Mr. Clinton, PLEASE halt a massive polluting airport proposed
in Homestead, Florida, on the edge of Everglades and Biscayne
National Parks and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary,
containing the continental United States ONLY Living Coral Reefs.
Your swift rejection of this polluting facility will earn you
nationwide praise and help to define your legacy. Your failure 
to stop the airport, or a decision to pass this issue to the 
next Administration will damage it. 

2.  Call U.S. Senator Bob Graham at (202) 224-3041:

or you may send an e-mail to the Senator, along with your 
personal comments to:

e-mail: bob_graham at graham_senate.gov

3. Also, call Florida Governor Jeb Bush at (850)488-4441:

or you may send an e-mail to the Governor, along with your 
personal comments to:

e-mail: jeb at jeb_org
e-mail: fl_governor at eog_state.fl.us

Ask him to come out NOW against the Everglades Airport.

According to the Air Force Draft study:

The Homestead airport would increase near shore deposition 
of air-borne nitrates by 54 times; and increase inputs into 
Biscayne Bay of both hazardous air pollutant polycyclic 
aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which is unregulated in 
aircraft emissions and of ammonia, toxic to marine life. 
Air pollution would increase, resulting in the daily 
emissions of seven tons of toxic air pollutants, like 
nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. Development
associated with the airport will result in the development 
of thousands of acres of agricultural lands and wildlife 

Just last year, the Environmental Protection Agency 
concluded that the Homestead Air Reserve Bases' storm 
water discharge canal, which leads into Biscayne Bay, 
is significantly contaminated with heavy metals and 
radioactive contaminants. Environmental cleanup at the 
Air Base has already cost taxpayers more than $50 million. 

For more information, contact Jonathan Ullman,
Sierra Club Everglades Field Representative
at (305) 860-9888 or e-mail at:
jonathan.ullman at sierraclub_org 

There is also a grassroots website which provides 
updated, useful information on the battle to stop 
the Everglades Airport at:

And you may also go online to the Reef Relief
website and use our e-mail links to send these
messages out quickly at the following URL:

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