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02/05/2010

3PR, Sierra Club (Charlotte) and County Commissioner Object to Tampa Bay Rays Deal With Strip Miner

February 5, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Adam Cummings, Charlotte County Commissioner: 941-204-2734

Dennis Mader, President, 3PR 863-494-4687

Sue Reske, Sierra Club, 941-276-2859

3PR, Sierra Club (Charlotte) and County Commissioner Object to Tampa Bay Rays Deal With Strip Miner Mosaic

“It’s an outrageous slap in the face,” says longtime Charlotte County Commissioner Adam Cummings. “For years we fought Mosaic’s efforts to expand strip mining in the Peace River Basin. We spent $12 million doing it. Now the Tampa Bay Rays want to put the Mosaic name on our sports center. It’s as if Mosaic is going to get the naming rights for Florida Field and change its name from the “Swamp” to the “Clay Pit” because that is what they do to natural wetlands.”

The dispute centers on the Tampa Bay Rays need to acquire a sponsor for the Charlotte County Sports Park. The County allowed the Ray’s to sell naming rights. The County will receive $75K annually from the agreement. The Rays propose to sell call the park, “Mosaic Field.”

“For those of us who know the environmental damage and the threats to our water supply which this company causes, it’s a disgrace.” said Sue Reske with the Greater Charlotte Harbor Group of the Sierra Club “Mosaic’s latest water permit request is for 3 times the amount which all 250,000 of us downstream use each day. It’s simply outrageous for the Rays to ask Charlotte County, which has been working to reinvent itself as a green community, to consider selling our primary public symbol to this greedy polluter.”

“It’s indisputable that the Peace River basin is suffering from the effects of wall-to-wall phosphate strip mines,” said Dennis Mader, President of 3PR, an environmental group working to protect the Peace River Watershed

“If the Rays didn’t understand what they are doing to our community by rushing through this deal, they know it now,” said Cummings, who noted that the agreement which he was briefed on Wednesday is scheduled to go before the Charlotte County Commission on Tuesday, February 9.

“To take a community-owned baseball park and brand it with an industry that has ravaged 100’s of square miles of Florida’s most scenic river is absurd in my opinion. Of course Mosaic wants to associate itself with baseball. They’re putting enormous effort into cultivating a good public image - yet in reality they’ll destroy a watershed and the Charlotte Harbor Estuary. I would advise the people of Charlotte County to reject this proposal.”

People to call the Rays and tell them that this is not a plan for them or for Charlotte County. And, we need for this Charlotte County Commission to know that even if they weren’t part of the effort to stop the injury, they can now be part of stopping the insult.

www.OurPhosphateRisk.com

http://www.protectpeaceriver.org/

Tampa Bay Rays: 1-888-FAN-RAYS

Charlotte County Commission: 941-743-1300 • bcc@charlottefl.com

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