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This is Horse Creek. It provide 15 percent of the flow to the Peace River upstream of the water supply for the region. The proposed expansion of strip mining moves into the Horse Creek watershed.

An ecosystem is a living, fluid natural system. Everything in it is intricately connected, and disruption in part of the ecosystem can impact everything else in it. Whether the impacts are easily seen or hidden beneath the surface, the consequences are just as real.

Balanced ecosystems are vital to maintaining a healthy and functioning environment. The timing, quality and quantity of water flow are critical for ecosystem health. The amount of water in an area determines the kind of habitat–the plants that can grow and the wildlife it will support. When water flows through an ecosystem are disrupted, even temporarily, the results can be felt all the way downstream.

People rely on healthy ecosystems to provide us with food, drinking water supply and recreation and even commerce. Degraded water quality will have far-reaching effects for the communities downstream. Industries such as fishing, eco-tourism, and agriculture that make up the bulk of the region's revenue will be negatively impacted. And the Peace River Watershed adds $5 billion annually to the Florida's economy.

We know that disturbances in one part of the ecosystem affects other living things in the system. What we don't know are the long-term effects of that disturbance. If we allow phosphate strip mining with inadequate controls for reclamation, the ecosystem may be altered beyond repair. Are we willing to take that risk?

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