Legislative Battles

The Everglades Foundation: Expediting the EAA Reservoir to Store, Clean & Send Water South (2017)

With the “Lost Summer of 2016” fresh on Floridian’s minds, all eyes were on legislators ahead of the 2017 Legislative Session and on the incoming Senate President Joe Negron (R-Stuart), who had been a vocal advocate for expanding water storage south of Lake Okeechobee.

Florida had just undergone a state of emergency for 242 days, because of toxic algae, which had far-reaching effects on tourism, local businesses, the environment and residents. Joining voices across Florida, including anglers, realtors, business and community leaders, The Everglades Foundation led a comprehensive advocacy campaign in support of Senate Bill 10, which expedited the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir to store, clean and send Lake Okeechobee water to the Everglades and Florida Bay

As an integral part of The Foundation’s communications team, Bascom Communications & Consulting, LLC (BCC) was instrumental in the development and execution of the full-scale advocacy campaign, which included, but was not limited to, paid, earned and digital media; message development; collateral materials; rapid response; public affairs events; bookending committee meetings and important events; third-party coordination and outreach; and grassroots activities.

As a contentious issue, SB 10 was a changing piece of legislation with multiple compromises happening throughout the legislative session. As such, BCC was quick to adjust messaging, collateral material, and digital and paid media efforts, as well as rapidly pivot earned media strategies in order for The Foundation to be the first to reach out to Capitol Press Corps members, covering reporters and editorial boards when the legislation changed.

Ultimately, SB 10 successfully passed with bipartisan support in both the Florida House and Senate and was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott. The advocacy campaign was successful in not only uniting voices across the state together to form one in support of expediting the EAA Reservoir, but it was also adept at making changes at a moment’s notice, in order to adjust to the changing political environment and temperature.