The Everglades Foundation today released the following statement, attributable to its CEO Eric Eikenberg, regarding the filing of legislation, Senate Bill 10 by State Senator Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island), to respond to the water crisis facing the coastal estuaries and the Everglades.
“We thank Senator Bradley for recognizing that a water crisis anywhere in Florida is a water crisis and filing this important legislation. Coastal communities were under a state of emergency for 242 days in 2016 as a result of Lake Okeechobee discharges. The creation of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan nearly two decades ago recognized the great need for a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee in the Everglades Agricultural Area in order to reduce the harmful discharges to the estuaries and to preserve water for when it’s desperately needed during the dry seasons.
“Senator Bradley’s filing of SB 10 today moves us closer to having this critical water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee that will be cost-matched by the federal government, and we applaud him for taking action to respond to Florida’s water crisis this legislative session.
“We’d also like to praise Senate President Joe Negron, who has made it one of his priorities this session to put a viable action plan in place to alleviate the harmful discharges that devastated the communities and businesses along our coastlines just last year.
“Last year’s events – which affected Floridians and tourists alike and resulted in local businesses and beaches closing, jobs being lost, property values declining and loved ones getting sick from the toxic algae that plagued our waterways – should serve as a reminder of the importance of protecting our water, now and in the long term.
“We look forward to working with Senate President Negron, Senator Bradley and members of the Senate, as well as the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and members of the House, as we work to protect our environment, economy and well-being.”
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