Senate approves plan to fix Lake Okeechobee, end algae invasions

“Senate President Jo Negron’s $1.5 billion plan to fix Lake Okeechobee, and stop overflows of toxic “guacamole water” into the state’s rivers and streams, passed the Senate Wednesday on a vote of 36-3.

Last June’s overflow of toxic algae blooms, which devastated tourism and sickened many people, and prompted Gov. Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency, is forcing the state’s hand, bill sponsor Rob Bradley argued.

“I promised my constituents that we would dramatically expand southern storage by leveraging existing water infrastructure, and utilizing a combination of state, local, and private land, in a manner that respects the interests of the agricultural community and private landowners,” Negron said in a written statement following the vote.

“After 20 years of talking about southern storage, this legislation establishes a concrete plan to achieve this critical component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan in a reasonable amount of time,” Negron said.

“We can’t wait any longer. What happened in the summer of 2016 was a call for action. Fortunately, we are now responding to that call today,” Bradley said.”

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Moline, Michael. FLorida Politics Blog 12 April 2017.