Take a look at the image above. It’s emblematic of the status quo that has allowed Lake Okeechobee’s water to be mismanaged in a way that benefits special interests — especially giant sugarcane corporations — while triggering toxic-algae blooms and depriving the Everglades of water.
Senate Bill 2508 preserves that status quo.
If Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to follow through on his promise to address Florida’s water crisis, he must veto it.
Specifically, SB 2508 threatens to:
- Constrain environmental improvements that could be achieved through the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM).
- Undermine years of work to correct a failing water-management system by perpetuating the harmful “hold and dump” practices of the existing Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS 08).
- Limit beneficial dry-season flows to the Caloosahatchee River and Everglades and, potentially, increase high-volume discharges to coastal communities during the wet season.
- Put at risk the public health and economic vitality of communities downstream of toxic Lake Okeechobee discharges.
- Expand and accelerate the destruction of wetlands, exacerbating impacts to water quality.
To protect Floridians, our environment, and our tourism-based economy, Gov. DeSantis should VETO SB 2508.