During the summer of 2015, drought conditions and lack of fresh water flowing into the Florida Bay caused water to become hyper saline, triggering a massive sea grass die off.
While the Florida Bay was experiencing a drought, heavy rains in the middle of the state required the Army Corps of Engineers to release 180 billion gallons into the St. Lucie estuary and another 372 billion gallons into the Caloosahatchee River- a total of 552 billion gallons.
Resulting fish kills, algae blooms, and sea grass die-off zones make it clear we need to rethink water management.
As written into CERP (Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan) and supported by hundreds of scientists, increased storage, treatment and conveyence of water south of Lake Okeechobee is essential to restore the flow of clean, fresh water to the Everglades National Park and Florida Bay.
A storage option will stop the damaging discharges to the coastal estuaries, improve the health of Lake Okeechobee, and protect the drinking water for 8 million Floridans living in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Using Amendment 1 funds, we must identify and secure land out of the lake without delay and begin construction of a reservoir.
As of right now, Florida Senate Bill 10 and its companion, Florida House Bill 761, is making their way through committees in order to hopefully get the necessary votes to make it to the floors of the Senate and House for a full vote.
Pick up the phone to tell your policymakers our livelihood and economy depends on a vibrant and flourishing Florida Bay. Holly Raschein, our very own Florida House Rep., is a member of two of the committees this bill will pass through, including being the Chair of one of those committees.
House Rep. District 29 Holly Raschein 305-453-1202
Florida Senate District 39 Anitere Flores 305-270-6550