Last week, the Rays announced an agreement with The Mosaic Company to rename the Rays spring training park in Charlotte. In the press release, the Rays said they were looking for a partner “with a strong presence in our region and a demonstrated commitment to local communities…The Mosaic Company has an exceptional track record of community engagement.”

Well, that “community engagement” may include destroying local wetlands and some in the community are not happy with the partnership.

“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.”

According The Mosaic Company’s website, they are “the world’s leading producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash, two of the primary nutrients required to grow the food the world needs.

So Mosaic produces the two of the main ingredients in fertilizer that is then used to help grow crops in areas that otherwise might not be able. But they do this at the cost of strip mining in the Charlotte area and possibly damaging local wetlands.

Fair or foul? We don’t know, but if the voices behind this story get any louder, the Rays could have second-thoughts on their new partnership.

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