True Everglades restoration is all about halting polluted discharges from Lake Okeechobee to our coasts and getting massive amounts of clean water flowing south from the lake into the Everglades when and where that water is needed.
It is well known that the most critical project in restoring the Everglades is construction of the EAA Reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee because it is the ONLY project that addresses both critical objectives.
Florida’s notorious sugar industry has been working to undermine this crucial project since the 1990s.
Despite widespread public, scientific and stakeholder support for the project, State Senate President Wilton Simpson is suggesting that the EAA Reservoir may be defunded in favor of a different project north of the lake – ASR wells – that is water supply for agriculture, but not true Everglades restoration.
Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) wells are an expensive technology that would provide water storage for development and agricultural interests. Because the wells cannot receive water quickly, they are useless for flood control, ineffective in preventing Lake O discharges, and completely unrelated to sending freshwater south to the Everglades where it is desperately needed.
Agriculture already consumes more than 92% of the water in Lake Okeechobee. Meanwhile, the Everglades is collapsing from a severe lack of that consistent freshwater in the dry and winter months.
We must urge our State Senators NOT to fall for distractions or sugar’s smoke and mirrors. The solution to Everglades Restoration is clear: Expedite the EAA Reservoir and send clean water south!