Miami Herald: Written by Jenny Staletovich. December 23, 2017.
This spring, Florida lawmakers approved plans for a massive new reservoir near Lake Okeechobee, touting the billion-dollar project as a breakthrough in the decades-old effort to save the Everglades.
Less than a year later, South Florida water managers are struggling to make the ambitious project a reality — while environmental groups have begun to raise concerns that the plan is based on flawed data and that it may become a Trojan horse used to challenge long-standing water quality standards for the fragile Everglades ecosystem.
Hatched in the final days of the last legislative session after months of intense lobbying and championed by the powerful Senate president, Joe Negron, the plan called for construction of a large reservoir in western Palm Beach County aiming to do two things: Stop flushing foul water from Lake Okeechobee to the coasts, and fix the flawed re-engineering of South Florida’s tropical wetlands by sending water south to wilting marshes and Florida Bay.