We need you to speak up!

Since February 17, water managers have permitted the release of harmful discharges out of Lake Okeechobee, causing damaging declines in salinity on Florida’s east and west coasts and staining the fragile St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries and Lake Worth Lagoon with dark, polluted water. As Floridians eye the coming wet season, signs of an early algae bloom lurk in the northwest corner of the lake — a symptom that could indicate a disastrous and toxic summer ahead.

This all-too-familiar scenario is the product of a rigged system.  There is a solution, and we need South Florida Water Management District Governing Board members to embrace it. 

About 62,000 acres of taxpayer-funded stormwater treatment areas (STAs) exist south of Lake Okeechobee for storage and treatment of water moving south. As the northern estuaries suffer, water managers have confirmed that capacity in these manmade treatment marshes is currently prioritized for runoff from the Everglades Agricultural Area — accounting for about 90% of the storage volume in a typical year. This storage guarantees near-perfect drainage for the industrial sugarcane growers U.S. Sugar and Florida Crystals. Unfortunately, this leaves little room to send Lake Okeechobee water south at a time like this when we desperately need it.

This is your chance to ask SFWMD Governing Board Members to choose the people of Florida over sugar. They have the power to better safeguard our water, our health, and our economy.

We’ve made it easy to weigh in. Use the form on this page to send pre-formatted letters to each of the Governing Board Members now.