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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Matthew Schwartz Conservation Chair, Broward Group of the Sierra Club Telephone: 954-993-5351

Email: SIERRA CLUB OPPOSES NEW IMMIGRATION DETENTION CENTER ON THE EDGE OF THE EVERGLADES Sierra Club Teams Up With Residents and Community Organizations in the City of Pembroke Pines and the Town of Southwest Ranches. The Broward Group of the Sierra Club has passed a resolution opposing construction of a 1,500 bed for-profit detention facility by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) in the Town of Southwest Ranches in western Broward County. The center would be run under the auspices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which has yet to award a contract to CCA for this project. To view resolution click here: The Sierra Club objects to the proposed facility because it would draw excessive amounts of water from the Biscayne Aquifer - approximately 180,000 gallons per day - at a time when the regional water supply is already strained by existing consumption and changes in rainfall patterns. The facility would also contribute to Broward Countys existing, and still completely unresolved, waste water disposal problem. Located only about a mile from the edge of Browards Everglades, the project would further degrade the gateway to what remains of Broward Countys natural areas - even while the County plans on taking control of the nearby Everglades Holiday Park for the purpose of expanded ecotourism. Building a large structure that will involve intensive water use, when water supplies are already overtaxed, and building it along the perimeter of development in Broward County, in close proximity to the Everglades, will greatly harm Broward's residents and ecology, said Mara Shlackman, Chair of the Broward Sierra Club.

A massive structure of this size has no business being built in this location. The more humans encroach on the Everglades, the less open space remains for people and wildlife. Buffer zones of lighter development around protected public lands are essential, said Judy Kuchta, who regularly leads outings into the Everglades for the group. Residents of Southwest Ranches and Pembroke Pines opposed to the project were happy to hear that the Sierra Club would be lending a hand in their hard fought campaign against the planned CCA facility. "Were delighted that other interests are demanding that all negative aspects of this detention center be addressed. The impact on a significant part of our national heritage, the Everglades, may be severe. It is mandatory that we vigilantly defend against all negative consequences of this planned facility by ensuring it never gets built," said Bill Di Scipio, resident of Southwest Ranches, and member of Residents Against Inappropriate Development (RAID), a group formed to oppose the project. Pembroke Pines resident Lorena Burgoa has been a constant critic of the facility at numerous municipal meetings. Shame on our local politicians for even contemplating the idea of a massive detention facility next to residential homes, schools and parks, said Burgoa. The negative consequences, the detrimental impacts on our safety, resources and environment will be felt for a long time to come if this project is ever built. Its always wonderful to see a community coming together to protect its natural surroundings and quality of life, said Matthew Schwartz, Conservation Chair of the Broward Group of the Sierra Club. Overdevelopment at the expense of our water supply and natural resources has been the norm for many years in Broward County. In 2007, the City of Pembroke Pines, the supplier of water for this facility, was within 100,000 gallons per day of being forced to adopt an alternative water supply at huge cost to residents. That alternative would have injected 7 million gallons a day of treated sewage back into the Biscayne Aquifer. Its time to say enough is enough when it comes to this foolish and harmful project.