In an effort to help you make informed decisions during the General Election, ABC Action News has reached out to dozens of candidates running for office. The following statements have been submitted to ABC Action News by the candidate. Every candidate was given the same set of questions. These are their responses in his/her own words.
Name: Sean Patton
Office: Sarasota County Soil and Water Conservation District Group 1
Sean Patton is a biologist with a Bachelor’s of Marine Biology from New College of Florida in Sarasota. Sean also runs the habitat restoration and environmental consulting firm Stocking Savvy, Works as the Co-Project Manager of the Sarasota Manatee Ecoflora Project to catalog all plants in these counties, and worked several years at a local lake management firm Aquatic Systems.
Why should voters vote for you?
No one else has the same passion for Sarasota’s environment or the long term future here at heart. I work closely with local nurseries, gardens, and communities on improving habitat and know what Sarasota wants and needs. I am a young scientist who is working on the cutting edge of environmental science and can usher Sarasota into the future. If people want to fight back against Red Tide, and Climate Change while protecting our local wildlife and agricultural communities then they will vote for Sean Patton for the best of both worlds.
If elected, what are your top priorities?
My priorities are clean water, native habitat, and protecting local farmers and nurseries during the COVID pandemic and expanding local access to statewide or federal resources.
What are three key messages of your campaign?
- Habitat restoration anywhere and everywhere.
- If it’s not a native plant, not an edible plant, not a useful plant, why plant it?
- Partnerships between cleaning our water and agriculture. If our problem is too much fertilizer in our bays why not use that to grow plants through aquaculture?
What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?
I am personally passionate about bio-mimicry, or the combination of nature and humanity in public policy. This can include vines and living walls on buildings, community farms and gardens, and even a personal project of working on floating butterfly gardens to remove nutrients from ponds! This ranges wildly in public policy from zoning and architecture to stormwater and land management. The Florida IFAS office is a great public policy outreach tool I work with.
What do you believe is the most urgent issue facing the environment and should be done about it?
Unfortunately, there is no smoking gun of issues. Red Tide, Climate Change, urban sprawl, invasive species, are all massive billion-dollar issues in Florida and prevalent in Sarasota. I prefer to think that the best fix is widespread habitat restoration rather than focus on the problems as it tackles all of Sarasota’s main issues.
What motivates you to run for public office?
Honestly seeing how poor our environment is and how easy it is to restore and the look in peoples eyes when they get their first backyard butterfly or pull a fish out of a healthy pond. It is the mixture of humans, nature, and agriculture that motivates me to run.