On Thursday, December 14, 2017, Florida Senate President Joe Negron sent a letter to Ernie Marks, Executive Director of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) expressing his concerns with the modeling efforts for the EAA Reservoir project. The SFWMD is a bureaucratic agency responsible for the implementation of Senate Bill 10.
Captains for Clean Water commends Senator Negron for his perseverance with this issue. He has publicly committed himself to seeing the EAA Reservoir project through to the finish line.
Key points from Senator Negron’s letter regarding the EAA Reservoir:
“I have a concern that the initial modeling may be unnecessarily constrained by using a limited footprint”
“Utilizing the A-1 parcel might trigger the need to renegotiate the restoration strategies consent decrees”
“The law also emphasizes termination of leases, land swaps, and land acquisition if additional land is necessary for the EAA reservoir project.”
“What I hope to see from the District is a proposal that is workable, that we can make a reality as expeditiously as possible to decrease the need for harmful discharges to the estuaries.”
“If the District needs to be flexible with the footprint to put an effective reservoir plan into action, I hope it will consider using any additional land available, if necessary.”
“It was our goal as the Legislature to give the District the tools it needs to develop a plan that is realistic and will ultimately receive approval from our partners in the federal government.”
Captains for Clean Water is encouraged by this forward momentum, however we have yet to see anything from the SFWMD or the Governor’s office in response to Senator Negron’s letter. Florida Bay is dying, and discharges continue to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers. There’s no more time for delay. It’s time to cut through the red tape and get to work.