PALMETTO BAY, FL — Today, Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg released the following statement following the announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to maximize discharges from Lake Okeechobee beginning tomorrow.
“We are disheartened to hear today’s announcement to increase discharges from Lake Okeechobee to maximum capacity. Still recovering from polluted discharges during the ‘Lost Summer’ of 2013, the fragile St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries are once again at risk of facing ecological and economic fallout that’s becoming all too common.
“Completing projects outlined in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan is needed now more than ever. These projects will allow the discharges to be treated and sent south to areas like Florida Bay that are starving for fresh water instead of being dumped out to sea.
“We’re optimistic that a bill moving through the Florida Legislature to provide at least $100 million per year for CERP projects alone—and even more for Everglades restoration in general—will be signed into law. This ‘Legacy Florida’ legislation would establish dedicated funding for critical restoration projects that would decrease harmful Lake Okeechobee discharges.”