Naples Daily News: Written by Ana Ceballos. June 29, 2018.
U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis criticized state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam on Friday for being "tied at the hip" with Big Sugar, suggesting the relationship has hurt efforts to stop toxic algae blooms from fouling coastal communities in Southwest Florida and the Treasure Coast.
DeSantis and Putnam, who are running against each other in the Republican primary for governor, attended the GOP Sunshine Summit. Addressing a room filled with Republicans loyalists, DeSantis said the next governor must tackle Lake Okeechobee problems that lead to toxic discharges on both coasts.
Toxic algae blooms have plagued Florida's coasts for over a century, and discharges that precede them are expected to persist until the dike that surrounds Lake Okeechobee is fixed and other Everglades projects are completed. The state needs the federal government to pay about $900 million to fix the dike and wrap up the projects.