|This ad was in the Miami Herald today, she has one slated for the New York Times.|
1300 miles separates Flint, Michigan where mostly poor African Americans have been exposed to toxic amounts of lead in drinking water, and Clewiston, Florida -- home of US Sugar Corporation. The distance is nothing to the descendants of Charles Stewart Mott.
Mott built his fortune in the early 20th century through an automotive empire that became General Motors. He also bought a Florida sugar company along the way, US Sugar Corporation; the largest producer of sugarcane in the state.
The Charles Stuart Mott Foundation, based in Flint, has an endowment of more than $2.7 billion. One of its core missions is protection of fresh water resources. In recent years it awarded grants to; “ensuring healthy river flows”, “Alabama Urban Stormwater Project”, “Harbor Maintainance and Upstream Sediment Reduction”, “Great Lakes Water Quality Project”, and the “Tulane Environmental Law Clinic Water Quality and Wetlands Project”. The Foundation and the CS Mott Children’s Hospital are controlling shareholders of US Sugar Corporation.
Mott established the C.S. Mott Foundation in 1926; a lasting legacy of care and help protecting the welfare of Flint, Michigan. Despite its long history supporting clean water, the Foundation was surprised as anyone about the massive destruction of drinking water quality brewing under its own feet. It is hard to know how the foundation squares its ownership of US Sugar with similar perils to water quality in Florida.
The problem with Big Sugar that dominates water policies and politics in Florida: it is everyone’s peril. (There is more)
Mary Barley is a long time Everglades Activist.