The praise for the Mosaic Company in the Herald's May 2 editorial is just what the company wants to buy with contributions for the nature center at Robinson Preserve, the expansion at the South Florida Museum and donations to many other organizations.
The funds are placed by Mosaic to deceive the public about the harm caused by Mosaic's business in Florida, which is strip mining for phosphate ore.
Close to home, in the Four Corners area, private wells near mining sites are contaminated by excess radiation, causing health problems for residents and their animals.
Mosaic's name on environmental facilities distorts these realities:
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Phosphate mining's massive groundwater withdrawals are linked to the loss of springs, reduction of fresh water flows to rivers and dewatering of wetlands and other lands.
Agriculture and tourism are decimated when areas are mined. The environment is worth more than its destruction.
Synthetic fertilizer is not the best way to grow crops (organic fertilizer can be used) and overuse has led to a massive Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico and many other impaired water bodies around the world.
Phosphate mining causes destruction of wildlife and degradation of water quality and quantity. Most of this damage is permanent. Moonscapes of unreclaimed land are left for years in spoil piles and deep pits.
Phosphogypsum is the hazardous waste created when phosphate ore is processed into fertilizer. It is stored in mountain-like structures that will be here forever.
One of these, at Piney Point, has overflowed several times, polluting Tampa Bay and costing the state of Florida more than $200 million. There are now 25 phosphogypsum stacks in Florida, disasters waiting to happen.
The vast expenditures by Mosaic for image boosting are for the purpose of blunting criticism of the destruction that mining brings to our county and state.
Sandra Ripberger, Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Group Bradenton