NEWS PRESS: Fear, anger, health worries, cautious optimism at discussion on how the Army Corps should manage Lake Okeechobee

News Press. Written by Amy Bennet Williams. February 5th, 2019.

It was standing room only as an energized crowd of moms and mayors, storekeepers and biologists gave the Army Corps of Engineers an earful Tuesday. The Corps, which is in charge of Lake Okeechobee, is hosting a series of meetings around its watershed to listen to citizens about how it manages the third largest lake within the continental United States.

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NBC 2: Brian Mast files bill aimed at hold Army Corp accountable for Lake O releases

NBC 2: Written by Elizabeth Eisele. February 4th, 2019.

STUART, Fla. - Florida Congressman Brian Mast has introduced legislation aimed at making the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to notify communities affected by discharges of water contaminated by toxins. The Toxic Health Threat Warning Act would require tests to determine if discharged water contains blue-green algae. If that water is contaminated, the Corp would need to notify the public, local governments before releasing the water. 

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TAMPA BAY TIMES: Maxwell: Let’s save the paradise that is Florida

Tampa Bay Times: Written by Bill Maxwell. February 1, 2019.

Many old Florida natives like me used to believe we were living in paradise, a special place “full of flowers,” as Juan Ponce de Leon had observed. Our peninsula was mostly pristine and undeveloped, more sand dune than pavement, more earthy green than kitschy pastels, more shoreline than seawall.

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If we can put a man on the moon…

1971: The crew of Apollo 14 blasted off atop a Saturn V on January 31, 1971. Less than 6 years after JFK issued a national challenge, the most powerful rocket – still, to this day – was designed and safely launched 24 astronauts to the moon. Americans did this 50 years ago. We most certainly can fix a fatally-flawed water management system now.

2019: “I will lead the efforts to save our waterways. We will fight to restore our Everglades and we will never ever quit. We won’t be cowed and we won’t let the foot draggers stand in our way.” –Governor Ron DeSantis Inaugural Speech (January 8, 2019)

Interesting tidbit: Our executive director’s father, Edgar Mitchell, was onboard Apollo 14, becoming the sixth human to walk on the moon 5 days later.

 


TC PALM: DeSantis to SFWMD: Time is running for board to resign, says he'll take next step

TC Palm: Written by Ali Schmitz. January 29, 2019.

Gov. Ron DeSantis Tuesday warned the five South Florida Water Management District board members who have refused to resign as he requested that "time is going to run out" before he takes further action. 

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CAPE CORAL BREEZE: Nearly a third of state’s waters polluted, experts say

Cape Coral Breeze: Written by Jesse Meadows. January 24th, 2019.

"Not a single resident in Florida lives more than 20 miles from an impaired waterway," said John Cassani, Calusa Waterkeeper, at the first Florida Water Policy Summit last Monday.

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TAMPA BAY TIMES: In Tallahassee, a new environment for environmentalism

Tampa Bay Times: Written by Cynthia Barnett and David Colburn. January 25th, 2019.

In his campaign for Florida governor that coincided with plumes of toxic algae and piles of dead fish on the state’s signature beaches, Ron DeSantis denounced pollution and declared himself a “Teddy Roosevelt-style Republican,” championing conservation as a basic conservative value.

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TC PALM: SFWMD: Can Gov. Ron DeSantis fire board members who refuse to resign?

TC Palm: Written by Ali Schmitz. January 14th, 2019.

Only the Florida Senate can remove South Florida Water Management District board members who refuse to resign immediately, as Gov. Ron DeSantis requested Thursday. 

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The Guardian: Florida: Republican 'green governor' seeks to reverse predecessor's legacy

The Guardian: Written by Richard Luscombe. January 23rd, 2019.

Barely a week after positioning himself as the new champion of Florida’s polluted waterways and beaches, the new Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, is facing an early test of the environmental credentials that have put him at odds with his predecessor, Rick Scott.

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TC PALM: Groups say funding executive order is crucial to Florida's ailing waters

TC Palm: Written by Chad Gillis. January 20, 2019.

Environmental groups say a recent $2.5 billion executive order may sound expensive but not addressing Florida's ailing waterways actually costs more.Gov. Ron DeSantis last week issued the order, which, if executed, will fund water quality projects not included in Everglades restoration plans. Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani pointed to a 2015 Florida Realtors report that showed Lee and Martin county property values are suppressed by about $900 million a year because of poor water quality as proof that the order is needed.

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