SB 10 will put us in debt, cause job losses and not solve the problem.

SB 10 would authorize the use of bond funds to buy 60,000 acres of land to build a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. The plan is estimated to cost between $2.4 billion and $4 billion. Supposedly this would help solve pollution and toxic algae problems in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries. Excess water releases from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries have been blamed for the algae blooms that have damaged the estuaries.

There is no argument that the Florida legislature needs to address this serious problem, the algae blooms have impacted local economies dependent on tourism and fishing. But, there is no consensus among the scientific community on the best solution. Studies have shown that the source of the excess water comes from north of Lake Okeechobee, not south of the lake.

Studies also show that building the reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee would take farmlands out of production and put many farmers out of business.

43% of South Florida is owned by government for conservation, with 120,000 purchased over the last twenty years. Current plans for Everglades restoration already include building storage east, west, north, and south of Lake Okeechobee on land that has already been purchased, there is just no need to purchase more land.

We should not rush into a plan that has not been fully vetted and examined. If we are going increase state debt by billions of dollars, we need to be very sure that the money will be used to solve the problem, not just to buy more land.

SB 10 would put the taxpayers on the hook for $2 billion to $4 billion and put farmers out of business, just to pursue a plan that has no consensus from the scientific community and may not solve the problem.

SB 10 will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources on Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 at 9:30 AM.

TAKE ACTION

Call and e-mail the members of the senate committee and tell them to oppose SB 10, we already have enough conservation land around Lake Okeechobee for water storage and SB 10 will have a devastating effect on local agriculture communities.

CLICK HERE TO EMAIL THE MEMBERS OF THIS COMMITTEE

Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources

Rob Bradley

Bradley.Rob@flsenate.gov

850-487-5005

Lauren Book

Book.Lauren@flsenate.gov

850-487-5032

Oscar Braynon

Braynon.Oscar@flsenate.gov

850-487-5035

Dorothy Hukill

Hukill.Dorothy@flsenate.gov

850-487-5014

Travis Hutson

Hutson.Travis@flsenate.gov

850-487-5007

Debbie Mayfield

Mayfield.Debbie@flsenate.gov

850-487-5017

Linda Stewart

Stewart.Linda@flsenate.gov

850-487-5013

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