Florida Realtors and Everglades Foundation Joint Statement About Lake Okeechobee Discharges

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As polluted water floods South Florida rivers and beaches, it brings threats to human health and the environment, as well as damages to property and the economy.

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We will work together to make sure that the Water Management District and Army Corps of Engineers take steps to ensure that this never happens again.

Dangerously polluted water is flooding our rivers and beaches threatening human health, killing fish and wildlife, creating algae blooms, and damaging property values and the economy.

Just as our fragile real estate market is in recovery, we cannot afford a setback caused from unnecessary water pollution.

This crisis could result in a major setback for Florida’s economy. Florida Realtors and the Everglades Foundation join together and call for action to solutions that will reduce the harmful pollution discharges being seen today.

“We are already hearing reports that seasonal renters are reconsidering whether they want to spend their winter in parts of Florida impacted by polluted water,” said John Sebree, Florida Realtors Senior Vice President of Public Policy. “These are families who have returned to the same areas for generations who may not return.”

“Recently I spent time at the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers to see the terrible damage that is being done to those rivers and estuaries,” said Eric Eikenberg, Everglades Foundation CEO. “I was joined there by Realtors and others who are being directly harmed because of the economic impact of polluted water being discharged from Lake Okeechobee. We will work together to make sure that the Water Management District and Army Corps of Engineers take steps to ensure that this never happens again.”

Everglades restoration is entering its next phase. Projects such as the C-43 reservoir along the Caloosahatchee River and the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) need to be authorized. Ongoing construction of the C-44 reservoir along the St. Lucie River must be completed. All of these projects are vital to the restoration of America’s Everglades.

The South Florida Water Management District will vote on the Central Everglades Planning Project at its August 15 meeting in West Palm Beach. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must complete its work on CEPP by the end of the year. If the Corps fails to finish its work, CEPP will not be included in the current proposed Congressional Water Resources Development Act. Congress is not expected to take up another WRDA bill for at least seven years.

Our rivers and America’s Everglades cannot afford another delay in taking action.

For more information, visit: ProtectOurRivers.com

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Brian Crowley
since: 09/2010
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