Saturday, February 11, 2017

Letters to the Editor - Senate Bill 10

Letters to the Editor
Palm Beach Post
February 10, 2017

Senate Bill 10 a good first step

A recent article highlighted the reasons farmers oppose water moving south through the Everglades Agricultural Area (“Glades landowners say they won’t sell for Lake O reservoir,” Monday). The article failed to mention the most important facts.

Water in South Florida’s southeast coast has always flowed west toward the center of the state. Water must flow through the EAA, not out to the estuaries. Farmers in the EAA forget that they are benefiting from drainage systems that punish the Indian River Lagoon and the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers. These discharges must be stopped.

The arguments that the water cannot be sent south are like arguing the Mississippi River should flow out of the ports of Boston and San Francisco.

Senate Bill 10 provides the beginning of a resolution of the problem. It allocates funds to buy new land or to purchase the existing contract with U.S. Sugar. It does not end agriculture in the EAA.

This bill provides the only real alternative to continuing to destroy these vital estuaries. Other sources of pollution exist, but the triggering event has always been the huge damaging releases from Lake Okeechobee.

The area south of the lake was permanent wetlands and has been converted from a floodplain that was basically a shallow river into a dry farming area. The problem is, it cannot stay dry forever.

SB 10 is the beginning of a common-sense approach.


Editor’s Note: Drew Martin recently departed the Palm Beach Soil and Water Conservation Board after serving for eight years.

SB 10: Water Resources

Water Resources; Providing an exception to the requirement that bonds issued for acquisition and improvement of land, water areas, and related property interests and resources be deposited into the Florida Forever Trust Fund and distributed in a specified manner; requiring the South Florida Water Management District to seek proposals from willing sellers of property within the Everglades Agricultural Area for land that is suitable for the reservoir project; increasing the minimum annual funding for certain Everglades projects under specified circumstances, etc. APPROPRIATION: Indeterminate
Effective Date: Except as otherwise expressly provided in this act, this act shall take effect upon becoming a law
Last Action: 2/8/2017 Senate - Now in Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources
Location: In committee/council (AEN)
Bill Text: Web Page | PDF

No comments: