SUN SENTINEL: Protect the Everglades, not sugar farmers

Sun Sentinel: January 18, 2017. Written by Sun Sentinel Editorial Board.

Senate President Joe Negron sees "extraordinary progress" on one of Florida's most important environmental restoration projects. We hope that he's right.

That project is a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee that would produce two big benefits. It would reduce — and possibly eliminate — the need to dump polluted water into fragile coastal estuaries when the lake rises high enough to threaten the Herbert Hoover Dike. It also would provide water to re-hydrate Everglades National Park.

Negron represents Martin County, where last year massive discharges during a wet winter again caused algae blooms in the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon and closed beaches. Last week, a Florida Senate subcommittee heard testimony on Negron's idea for the 60,000-acre reservoir. Negron proposes that the state and federal government each pay half of the $2.4 billion cost.

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