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Rick Scott’s Move (From Bullsugar)

It sucks to be right.  This week the South Florida Water Management District handed lawmakers the same, inadequate reservoir proposal they've been peddling to the public for months.  Challenged to turn historic legislation into a breakthrough plan to stop discharges into our rivers, bring clean water to the Everglades, and revitalize Florida Bay, the district flatly refused. The plan they delivered is a staggering betrayal of Joe Negron and everyone who's worked to make SB10 a real solution to Florida's water management crisis. The plan carries two distinct imprints: Sugar's and Rick Scott's -- the only two entities with any real control over SFWMD. The sugar industry's position hasn't changed: Bleed Florida's resources and taxpayers as long as possible until there's nothing [...]

2019-12-29T08:48:45-05:00January 15th, 2018|Uncategorized|

A Last Chance for Florida’s Future Rests With Senate President Joe Negron and the Florida Legislature (from Eye on Miami)

This Thursday in Stuart, Senate President Joe Negron is holding a town meeting on the most important legislation to emerge from 2017; a massive new reservoir on public lands south of sugar fields to stop the toxic runoff from Lake Okeechobee and to re-hydrate the Everglades and Florida Bay with clean, fresh water. Senate President Joe Negron responded to voters in his district and across the state, where toxic pollution from Lake Okeechobee is wrecking property values, quality of life and economic opportunities The 2017 legislation was approved by the legislature after Florida’s coastal areas were devastated by toxic algae blooms in the winter of 2015/2016. Water managers were forced to dump billions of gallons of toxic water from Lake [...]

2019-12-29T08:48:45-05:00January 3rd, 2018|Uncategorized|

We Need Joe Negron’s Help Now (From Bullsugar)

On Tuesday, the SFWMD presented 4 "alternatives" for the EAA Reservoir that have one thing in common: they won't work.We're not suggesting that the district staff assigned to this project are incompetent or impolite. They seem to be working hard on a compressed schedule, within the parameters they've been given. They've just been given the wrong parameters.  We're not going to get into the weeds (again) on the various ways that this project is being hobbled  -- we've been doing that every week for the last 2 months, and frankly we understand if you’re sick of hearing it. We’re sick of saying it. But the fact remains that the SFWMD is trying to cram this reservoir and its necessary treatment marshes [...]

2019-12-29T08:48:46-05:00December 12th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Open Letter to Rick Scott (From Bullsugar)

We're running out of time. SFWMD is promoting a reservoir plan it knows won't work, and only Rick Scott can order the district to produce a realistic design before next week's deadline. This is the letter we're sending to the governor. You can click here to send it from your email address, or click here to paste into the online form on the governor's website. You can also make any changes you want. Dear Governor Scott, Your administration is taking credit for the EAA reservoir--the keystone project in the solution to Lake Okeechobee discharges into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers, and to the decline of Florida Bay and the Everglades. But the South Florida Water Management District, whose governing board you appoint, is proposing a [...]

2019-12-29T08:48:46-05:00November 27th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Why We Failed 10 Years Ago (From Bullsugar)

We’ve been here before: on the verge of building a dynamic reservoir in the EAA to cut discharges to the coasts by taking water from Lake Okeechobee, cleaning it, and sending it south to Florida Bay and the parched Everglades. That was the plan a decade ago. Today it’s the elephant in the room. What happened then, and why won’t it happen again? On one hand, there’s the legend: Environmental groups bickered over technical details and meaningless policy, turned their squabble into a lawsuit that stopped the project, and lost interest altogether when US Sugar announced it wanted to cash out and leave Florida. On the other hand, there’s the truth. Here’s what really happened. Almost 20 years ago the federal government bought out the Talisman Sugar Corporationand [...]

2019-12-29T08:48:46-05:00November 20th, 2017|Uncategorized|

A Glimmer of Hope (from Bullsugar)

SFWMD just announced that modeling for the EAA reservoir's land needs will be released in December.Thank you to all the Bullsugar supporters, politicians, journalists, and conservationistswho demanded more urgency from the district. Of course December still leaves almost no time for independent scientists to review findings before the legislature meets in January, or for lawmakers to evaluate options for acquiring more land. But it shows that holding state agencies publicly accountable for their obligations makes a difference. That's progress.Progress has been elusive in the struggle to fix Florida's water management. Florida Sportsman founder Karl Wickstrom has spent countless hours developing a deep understanding of what's wrong with the system, what it's done to our $9.7 billion fishing industry, and what it will take to get [...]

2019-12-29T08:48:46-05:00October 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Big Sugar Political Money Sends a Blunt Message: “All Aboard” (From Eye On Miami)

Big Sugar is laying out the bucks to the Florida legislature in advance of the 2018 session. No surprise. Nor is it any surprise that the next designated GOP speaker of the House, Miami Republican Jose Oliva, is the chief beneficiary of Big Sugar's honey pot. To victors, go the spoils. Judy Sanchez, spokesperson for U.S. Sugar near a pile of Raw Sugar. Big Sugar is laying out the bucks to the Florida legislature in advance of the 2018 session. No surprise. Nor is it any surprise that the next designated GOP speaker of the House, Miami Republican Jose Oliva, is the chief beneficiary of Big Sugar's honey pot. To victors, go the spoils. What does Big Sugar want? Sandy [...]

2019-12-29T08:48:45-05:00October 17th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Why didn’t we throw tomatoes at Ernie Marks? (From Bullsugar)

Last week, Marks, executive director of the South Florida Water Management District, faced a crowded room at a Rivers Coalition meeting in Stuart.  He'd joked about getting hit with tomatoes. He did get some sharp questions, including from Bullsugar, but he stood up and fielded them all. Maybe we did, and more on that in a moment. But certainly Marks--and SFWMD--deserved respect for showing up. And on whatever terms, by choice or by law, the district is an essential partner in Everglades restoration, including the keystone project to end discharges into our rivers. Even through an occasionally tense Q&A, Marks looked his neighbors in the eye and answered our questions directly. So no, we didn't throw fruit. But we did [...]

2019-12-29T08:48:45-05:00October 6th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Action Alert – ask your Commissioner to keep the 836 extension inside the Urban Development Boundary!

We need your help- the Urban Development Boundary is under attack again!Miami Dade County Mayor wants to build an 836 extension outside of the Urban Development Boundry.   Commissioner Moss, Chairman of the Government Operations Committee, is the prime sponsor of resolution 2D-172095, which will make it easier change the Comprehensive Master Plan to allow further development outside the Urban Development Boundary. We all feel a solution to the traffic problems should be solved within the Urban Development Boundary and have multi-modal options that connect to the SMART plan. We need all the land remaining to protect us from super-storms, saltwater intrusion, and to continue to grow our food locally. We must come together to protect the buffer of our [...]

2019-12-29T08:48:45-05:00October 5th, 2017|Uncategorized|

SB10 on Track to Fail (From Bullsugar)

Right now billions of gallons of fertilizer, sewage, and legacy pollution from Lake Okeechobee are spewing into the St. Lucie River, carrying a new threat of toxic algae. Water managers may say Irma left them no choice, but of course that’s a half-truth, at best.First, even as water levels rose, SFWMD back-pumped cyanobacteria-fueling runoff from sugar fields into the lake instead of asking the industry to hold it, increasing the risk of exposing riverside communities to toxins linked to cancer, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, liver and heart failure. So given a choice between protecting sugarcane and protecting people, the district rolled the dice on cancer. Second, the district has given no indication it’s making real progress on the one initiative that [...]

2019-12-29T08:48:45-05:00September 29th, 2017|Uncategorized|