July 6, 2016
The Honorable Rick Scott, Governor
State of Florida
PL 05 The Capitol
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Dear Governor Scott:
As Florida’s chief executive officer, you hold the power to initiate the solution to the ongoing collapse of vital areas of South Florida, as well as the Everglades eco-system, due to continual discharges of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee to the east coast and west coast and a woefully inadequate supply of clean freshwater to the Everglades and Florida Bay in the Florida Keys.
The time is now to prepare for the reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee, in the EAA. It has been 16 years since the State of Florida agreed to this project. You, alone, possess the authority to make it a reality.
As you are aware, a storage reservoir in the EAA has been an integral part of CERP since its inception. More than 200 independent scientists have determined it is the only way to reduce the harmful Lake Okeechobee discharges, hydrate the central Everglades wetlands and stabilize the salinity levels within Florida Bay, while ensuring the safety of the source of water supply for 8 million Floridians.
We respectfully request you begin a 30-day process of personal meetings with the four or five major landowners south of Lake Okeechobee to determine their willingness to donate, sell or convey the 60,000 acres necessary to implement the EAA reservoir solution. Of course, you still have the right to exercise the current option to purchase US Sugar’s land, which expires in 2020.
However, if after 30 days you are unable to find a willing seller or sellers, please immediately begin the process of eminent domain, recognizing that this necessary tool of government will provide compensation to the affected landowners. The circumstances are as dire as that statement suggests.
Thank you for your careful consideration of our request and your prompt response.