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I've Asked the Legislature to Budget $200 Million to Fix the Herbert Hoover Dike

April 17, 2017 - 5:15pm

It’s important to me that as the Legislature has progressed on President Negron’s priority Lake Okeechobee bill, I give an update on how I believe we should be funding our environment and conversations I have been having with the Trump Administration.

 Florida is known for our beautiful waterways and pristine coastline. We have to be very aggressive in protecting our environment and every year I have been in office, I have fought to provide resources to protect our lands and waterways. Unfortunately, due to heavy amounts of rain, we had the Lost Summer in 2013 and last year we had the algal blooms in South Florida where I had to declare a state of emergency.
 
“Our environment and the local economy in South Florida were hit hard. Businesses were hurt, our tourism industry was impacted and we have to continue to do all we can to make sure we keep enhancing the quality of our water. That’s why today I am announcing two items:
 
First, I am calling on both the House and the Senate to allocate $200 million in state funds to help fix the federal Herbert Hoover Dike. They are in the middle of their budget negotiations and I urge them to add this in immediately. If we can start working to fix the Dike, we can help solve a lot of the water issues we have seen with Lake Okeechobee. Repairing the Dike is key to enhancing the water quality in South Florida and I am going to be very aggressive at doing whatever we can to protect our environment.
 
I have spoken to the Trump Administration about the importance of fixing the federal Dike and I know they are very focused on investing in our environment and infrastructure. As you know, we had a major win from the Trump Administration last week with their commitment of $1.5 billion in LIP funding. This was nearly a billion more than the Obama Administration gave us. With this additional funding, we now have other funds available to spend on key items in our state, like our environment. And most importantly, we now have a federal government that is our partner and actually focused on working with Florida. My goal is for the Dike to be completely repaired by 2022, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Trump Administration to complete this, which would substantially reduce future discharges.
 
Second, the quality of our water is one of the biggest issues facing our state and President Negron has been very focused on getting a bill done to help Lake Okeechobee. I have continued to review the legislation and watch it go through the process this session. And today, I met with many Senators on this bill to let them know my thoughts on it. There is a lot about the bill I like, and I know it is still going through the process. But ultimately, I hope the legislature sends me a great bill that addresses the Lake Okeechobee problem and benefits our environment and takes into consideration the agriculture community.
 
Specifically, I support storage south of the lake in the A2 Reservoir which utilizes state-owned land and does not take people’s private land. This is a big step toward protecting our pristine environment. This additional storage, in conjunction with our currently planned projects around the Lake, will help reduce harmful discharges to the estuaries in South Florida. It’s very important to me that while we fund items in this bill, dollars are not taken away from our existing restoration plan, including projects like C43 and C44. Also, it is important to me that whatever is passed does not impact any person’s job. We have dedicated record funding toward Everglades restoration and I am confident we have the funds available to get these projects done without taking on more debt.
 
I am a businessman who came into government to get things done for Florida families. Protecting our environment isn’t a partisan issue. We have to aggressively fight to protect it. I think about my grandsons who love being outdoors and I want to make sure we leave our future generations a pristine environment.

Rick Scott, in his second term as governor of Florida, delivered this address to a press gathering Monday afternoon in Tallahassee.

Comments

Finally, maybe we'll be able to save our National Treasure - the Everglades - and at the same time guarantee clean waterways and drinking water. I can't believe I left this state almost 30 years ago only to return two years ago and find the same fights going on between sugar companies and farmers vs. environmentalists that were raging when we left for California the end of 1990. I'm an optimist and have high hopes that under Gov. Scott's administration we will implement a solution that will benefit all of us.

Maybe the governor listened to the presentation by Sen Simmons the day the committee was debating etc. The Herbert Hoover Dike is a major part of the problem...not being able to hold enough water..which SEn Simmons addressed. I hope the nonsense about "willing sellers" is excluded. As a victim of the PB Cty land grab in "Unit 11" there "ain't such a thing" because the feds, Fl, county can surround your land so there is no ingress!!!!! The CERP plan and CEPP are planned and need to proceed and the governor seems to realize that. Maybe Sen Negron's visit to Pahokee was a wake-up call. The folks aren't going to fall for "carrots" like job training. The farmers are the backbone of this country (family farms who are more trustworthy). We are so fortunate to have the fresh vegetables. Let's not "kill the goose which laid the golden egg" . Respect our neighbors!!!

Think the ship has sailed for leaving a pristine environment. Believe I sense a theme here and we will hear more about a pristine environment shortly. Jobs to the background. Believe the governor got all the goody out of that rotting log. A lot of complexity here. A LOT of money at play. Very different viewpoints. One of the most complex, magnificent ecosystems in the world. And we managed to get from that to this in less than 100 years. Only one scenario fixes the Glades and the water issues. And I don't think 10,000,000 Yankees are going to leave and don't think we will dismantle Disneyland - the root and source of a lot of these issue. My prediction is that we will spend a whole pile of money. PS...there is a great book out bout how corporate Disney bought the legislature in the early 60's. As well as everyone else that needed buying. Created their own Water District. Reedy Creek? But remember that all those silly colored lakes and ponds at the Magic Kingdom were part of the headwaters of the Glades.

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