To the editor:
At the same time that people from across the state traveled to Tallahassee to voice their concerns about the appalling water quality problems of our state, one politician attempted to hijack this public concern and direct it towards empowering the State of Florida to commit even greater environmental abuses.
Sen. Joe Negron (Republican of Stuart) released a statement that said, "I am asking Congress to remove the Army Corps' sole jurisdiction over Lake Okeechobee releases"
Negron's attempt to evict the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from Lake Okeechobee, Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie River water control structures is a deceptive maneuver aimed at convincing Floridians that the solution to our state's current water problems is to get rid of the Corps. The truth is the exact opposite.
For the past several years it has been only the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that has worked to introduce some balance into water management decisions. The Corps has listened to Caloosahatchee Estuary environmental advocates and sent much needed lake water westward in the dry season to moderate estuary salinity levels. By contrast, the State of Florida agencies have failed to implement "shared adversity" whereby cities, agriculture, and the environment all share the hardships brought on by too much, too little, or too dirty water.
If we allow Senator Negron to get rid of the Federal "adult in the room," then Florida pocket-politicians will have greater power to make our water problems even worse. They already have the inclination.
Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida