A terrible new bill emerged from Florida’s legislative session late last week. In this video, our executive director Eve Samples breaks down the reasons that it’s a cause for concern on many environmental fronts — not least of which is the threat it poses to the new Lake Okeechobee plan.
Among other things, this bill would lock in benefits to water supply users under the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM), degrading environmental benefits of the new plan and making downstream estuaries more susceptible to toxic algae blooms. It would allow expedited “dredge and fill” wetland permits if they serve a “public purpose,” and would spread thin state funding for critical Everglades restoration projects.
These are terrible ideas, and they have powerful support in the Florida Senate, which is led by Senate President Wilton Simpson.
The bill is scheduled for hearing at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning on the Senate floor in the Senate Appropriations Committee in Tallahassee. The environmental community including our policy director Gil Smart will be in attendance to push back. You can tune in to watch the hearing via the Florida Channel and contact your state senator to tell them you’re opposed to Senate Bill 2508.
Keep an eye out for more information from Friends of the Everglades as we learn more.