FLORIDA TODAY: Guest column: How the Army Corps is helping environment

FLORIDA TODAY: November 20, 2016. Written by Jason Kirk.

As commander of the Jacksonville District’s 780-member team of professionals, I want to share information about our efforts to restore the environment and to help our nation face the challenges posed by rising sea levels.

I am honored to lead a team working to restore America’s Everglades, an ecosystem unlike any other. Together with the state of Florida, the U.S. Department of the Interior and other government agencies, we’re seeing momentum to “get the water right” in terms of quantity, quality, timing and distribution.

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EYE ON MIAMI: Florida Gov. Rick Scott has a big idea for President-elect Trump: get rid of federal protections for the environment

EYE ON MIAMI: November 18, 2016. Written by Gimleteye.

With the list of nominees to lead the Trump U.S. Department of Interior including former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, the states' rights battle to wrest control of environmental policy from the federal government is tinder set to fire.

In Florida, that tinder is already lit in a way that should alarm the American public. Florida Governor Rick Scott and his political appointees are pressuring the federal government to surrender a national wildlife refuge to the state. President Theodore Roosevelt (in the photo above next to John Muir, the founder of Sierra Club) was a Republican and great advocate for our national park system. Teddy is rolling in his grave.

The land is called the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. It is a glorious wetland that is bordered on the east by encroaching suburbia in West Palm Beach and sugar farms to the north and west. To the south, downstream of the Loxahatchee: the dying Everglades. The Loxahatchee is famous for being the place where water quality standards for the Everglades were set by federal law in the 1990s, after a decade of litigation.

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WMFE: Army Corps says it's prepared to move faster on Everglades reservoir — with funding

WMFE: November 18, 2016. Written by Amy Green.

Planning for a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee is scheduled to begin in 2021.

The reservoir is crucial to restoring the Everglades, and the project could get started sooner if funding were available.

The reservoir is aimed at restoring a more natural flow of water to the Everglades. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will work with the state on the project.

“We know that storage north, south, east and west of the lake are all critical components that have been part of the concept for Everglades restoration since its inception, and the storage south of the lake is the next major planning effort,” says Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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PALM BEACH POST: Editorial: Water district should drop its beef with feds on Lox Refuge

PALM BEACH POST: November 15, 2016. Written by Opinion.

How nice of the South Florida Water Management District to pledge to maintain public access to the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, the northernmost remnant of the original Everglades.

How swell of them to let us know that the fight they’ve picked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the refuge’s steward for 65 years, isn’t meant to threaten the public’s enjoyment of this 225 square-mile, state-owned treasure in the heart of Palm Beach County.

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TAMPA BAY TIMES: Column: New reservoir needed to stop algae blooms

TAMPA BAY TIMES: November 14, 2016. Written by Eric Eikenberg.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, the photographs of thick, blue-green algae on Florida's central coasts that dominated national news coverage this summer spoke volumes.

Florida likes to portray itself as a tourist's paradise with pristine beaches, magnificent fishing and spectacular wildlife. Yet from the lower Indian River Lagoon on the east coast to the waters off Fort Myers and Sanibel-Captiva on the west, a more accurate picture would show beaches and marinas coated in a putrid, toxic goo with the consistency of guacamole.

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ORLANDO SENTINEL: End stench and sludge. Save the Everglades: #NowOrNeverglades

ORLANDO SENTINEL: November 14, 2016. Written by Opinion.

A week ago, while most Floridians were preoccupied by a certain approaching news event, a 12-day bus tour concluded in a campaign to highlight an issue whose impact — at least for Florida —could linger well beyond the results from Election Day.

Sponsored by the Everglades Foundation, the "Road to Restoration" tour — whose stops included Orlando — was intended to rally support for a plan to buy land and build a massive new reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. The plan, whose $2.4 billion tab would be split between state and federal governments, comes from incoming Senate President Joe Negron, a Stuart Republican. His district includes coastal areas devastated this year by toxic algae blooms fueled by releases of water from the lake.

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NEWS-PRESS: Water summit delivers solutions, but are things really changing?

NEWS-PRESS: November 9, 2016. Written by Paul Reynolds.

Much thanks to The News-Press for hosting the recent Market Watch Save Our Water summit and to the 400 folks motivated to attend. For some, like me, it was an opportunity to catch up with activists and stakeholders, to reflect on plan implementations and to measure progress. Unfortunately some things seem to be changing, but they really are not.

The purpose for our once treasured Lake Okeechobee, rivers and the Everglades was changed. The lake became a storage reservoir and the connected rivers became drainage canals, so that an agricultural industry might flourish to the south.

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TCPALM: Joe Negron: Elections will help plan to stop Lake Okeechobee discharges

TCPALM: November 9, 2016. Written by Tyler Treadway.

Tuesday's legislative elections throughout the state should be good for the Indian River Lagoon and a plan to end the destructive discharges to the St. Lucie River. So says the author of the plan and an environmental group supporting it.

Incoming Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, said he has "a strong foundation of support" with 25 Republicans in the 40-member Senate to help him push his proposal to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee as part of a system to move excess lake water south rather than east to the St. Lucie River and west to the Caloosahatchee River.

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MEDIUM: Florida- you blew it in the primaries but you should still vote for these candidates and this is why

MEDIUM: November 5, 2016. Written by Kelly Garvy.

The day after the Florida primaries (August 30th of this year), I cussed a lot. I was really mad at Florida. Florida blew it. They had made their bed so they could sleep in it. But then I thought what any person raised in the Catholic Church would think — maybe this was our fault, the tree huggers and fish lovers. Maybe it was my fault. Maybe I didn’t explain it well enough. Maybe people just didn’t have the time, they followed the crowd that mostly doesn’t vote in primaries. Maybe most people think that the big ticket items — the president — will have the biggest effect on water quality in Florida.

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ORLANDO SENTINEL: 'Little guy' might upset utilities' ploy for solar

ORLANDO SENTINEL: November 3, 2016. Written by Paula Dockery.

Could David actually beat Goliath in Florida's political arena?

Amendment 1, the deceptive utility-backed solar amendment, looked certain for passage this November. Voters who were polled overwhelmingly supported the amendment, mistakenly believing it was pro-solar.

True solar proponents were outgunned. The powerful and deep-pocketed group behind Amendment 1 was brilliantly devious in crafting the amendment language, which squeaked by Florida Supreme Court review on a 4-3 vote. Also, the backers had $22 million to spend.

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