Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

As Floods Become More Frequent, Climate Change Threatens Seminole Tribe of Florida


Valholly Frank is 18 years old. She grew up in South Florida, spending her time between the Big Cypress Reservation, one of the six reservations of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and Weston in Broward County. The rising tides of water, whether from a hurricane, storm surge or king tide, surround her and her community, from Miami to the reservation.

She, like many in South Florida, have watched as poor planning and policy have layered more problems on top of climate change, including impending oil drilling, and brackish water and blue green algae where once the water was fresh. Native plants and animals are moving, with some, like the manatee, in the midst of a mass die-off as a result.

When Frank was 15, she entered into a lawsuit, joining several other young people, ages 13 to 21, in suing Florida’s political leaders over their lack of action on climate change. The case names Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Secretary of Agriculture and Consumer Services and 2024 gubernatorial hopeful, Democrat Nikki Fried, among other officials, as appellees. The young people are asserting their right to a healthy future is at risk in Reynolds v. Florida — “the rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness, which includes a stable climate system, in violation of Florida common law and the Florida constitution,” notes the lawsuit filings.


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