As Floridians look forward to the upcoming Labor Day weekend, I can’t help to look back at this past Independence Day holiday – which sadly made national headlines with a major water crisis. Well, now Labor Day weekend approaches, and nothing has changed.
Florida remains in a state of emergency due to the billions of gallons of discharged lake water that has caused a severe outbreak of toxic algae in our coastal rivers and estuaries. On Monday, Florida Governor Scott extended the state of emergency for Lee, Martin, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie counties for 60 more days, taking us into October. Governor Scott first declared a state of emergency on June 29. This situation continues to threaten the health, safety and welfare of Floridians.
But earlier this month, we celebrated a momentous milestone for Everglades restoration, and celebrated the advancement of a project that will significantly reduce the amount of discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the coastal estuaries. Florida Senate President-designate Joe Negron announced his plan to move forward with the much-needed Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir Project.
As you know, The Everglades Foundation has advocated for this critical Everglades restoration project for a number of years. It has been part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) since Day One, and is vital to re-connecting Lake Okeechobee to the Florida Keys. By storing, cleaning and sending Lake Okeechobee water south, the project significantly reduces the amount of polluted water being dumped east and west.
Access to clean water is a basic human right. We remain resolute in our science, solution-based efforts towards advancing restoration for America’s Everglades – a rare, national treasure.
Thank you for your continued support. I encourage you, if you haven’t already, to affirm your support for Everglades restoration and sign the Now or Neverglades declaration via the following link: http://bit.ly/2bJnuWd.
Your voice will make a difference. It’s #NowOrNeverglades.
Chief Executive Officer