Ask SFWMD Governing Board to address STA capacity at their April 11 meeting!

We need you to speak up!

On March 30, the Army Corps of Engineers closed the flood gates from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie River, Caloosahatchee River and Lake Worth Lagoon. This pause is a testament to the power of public pressure. 

Thanks to important input provided by stakeholders as well as the official recommendations of the South Florida Water Management District, only beneficial releases are resuming  to the Caloosahatchee and releases to the St. Lucie River and Lake Worth Lagoon will remain paused. We are grateful to the Army Corps for listening to our concerns and adjusting Lake O flows accordingly.

But even with harmful releases temporarily avoided, the problem remains. Should the wet season produce the high number of named storms currently predicted, the northern estuaries may once again face the possibility of damaging discharges later this year — and the harmful impacts and threat of toxic algae that comes with them.

There’s a near-term solution that water managers should still embrace. More than 60,000 acres of taxpayer-funded stormwater treatment areas, which could effectively store and treat water from Lake O, are instead prioritized for polluted runoff from industrial sugarcane fields. In fact, water managers have repeatedly confirmed that runoff from the Everglades Agricultural Area accounts for about 90% of the storage volume in a typical year. Recent reporting by VoteWater shows that if water managers reserved even half the available STA space for water from Lake O, the lake would stand nearly 2 feet lower than it does today, eliminating the need for harmful discharges.

Water managers have the power to better safeguard our water, our health, and our economy. On April 11, the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board will meet in West Palm Beach. 

We need you to ask them to address STA capacity — and the gross prioritization of sugarcane  field runoff over Lake O water — at that meeting. They can and must do more to fix the rigged system.

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.

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