BRADENTON HERALD: Sen. Joe Negron’s smart next step for Everglades

Bradenton Herald: January 12, 2017. Written by Editorial Board.

There should be no doubt that the Florida Legislature should move forward with a sensible plan to create more water storage space south of Lake Okeechobee to achieve the goals of the multibillion-dollar Everglades cleanup effort. That is critical for easing the dumping of toxic lake water onto the eastern and western coasts, replenishing South Florida’s drinking water supply and increasing the flow of water to replenish the Everglades basin. The science is settled and the money exists, and lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott should act in the interests of public health and the state’s economy.

Wednesday’s workshop by a Senate committee marked the first serious airing of a proposal by Senate President Joe Negron to build a new reservoir south of the lake. Unusually heavy rains last year forced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release tens of billions of gallons of tainted water from the lake into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries, a flood control effort aimed at stabilizing lake levels and protecting property owners to the south.

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