Last Summer 2017, Florida Governor Rick Scott closed beaches along the Treasure Coast. Over the past two decades, one of the major environmental crisis of Florida has been Lake Okeechobee’s growing toxic algae problems.
This now polluted lake, once a fishing and swimming wonderland has Florida natives and visitors up in arms over the wave of neglected and abandoned promises from decades of big government wearing suits with deep pockets while bowing down to powerful economic groups and political handlers.
No one wants to build sandcastles on beaches with tainted algae laced waters.
Known as Florida’s Inland Sea, Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in the state of Florida. It’s the ninth largest natural freshwater lake in the United States and the second largest natural lake ( the largest being Lake Michigan) contained entirely within the contiguous United States, Okeechobee covers 730 square miles (1,900km) approximately half the size of the state of Rhode Island, and is exceptionally shallow for a lake of it’s size, with an average depth of only 9 feet (2.7 meters).
The lake is divided between the Glades, Okeechobee, Martin, Palm Beach, and Hendry counties. All five counties meet at one point near the center of the lake.
It’s said that for over six thousand years Lake Okeechobee drained south into the everglades giving life to one of the most diverse regions on earth. When people arrived, changes occurred, turning swamp land into farm land; then in 1928 a massive hurricane struck, it was the 2nd most deadly natural disaster in history, killing over 2,500 people.
Water flooded hundreds of miles of land, so to prevent another deadly storm surge, the Herbert Hoover Dike was built.
Phosphorus, a key ingredient in fertilizer is causing the algae problem, from the north the phosphorus in minor from commercial cattle ranches and dairy farms flows into the lake and from the south the excess water from fertilized sugar cane fields gets pumped into the lake. The water laden with algae flows east and west, ending up in the ocean.
Billions of gallons of fowl water destroys oyster beds and dolphins and fish struggle, while manatees gasp for air. Ariel views reveal the thick sludge as it meets with the nontoxic ocean.
The political mishandling has become criminally toxic and tainted having a devastating effect on the quality of life for water animals and humans as it trickles up to the declining economics of Florida tourism built around fishing, beaches, hotels and restaurant industries.
Big sugar green has turned lake Okeechobee brown due to the egregious bureaucratic influence in Tallahassee and D.C. as the “political will” has been silenced by the Agriculture Industry through the good old boy back door policy making agendas.
That’s right, this is big business, and big sugar wants to keep it’s seat at the table of the second most powerful and influential office in the state of Florida known as the Agriculture & Consumer Services, the Governors office being number one and both offices serving all 67 counties in the great state of Florida.
Floridians have “only one solution” to ridding this environmental crisis and that is to elect a non political, well educated by degrees and hands on experience, seasoned Candidate for the important office of Commissioner of Agriculture & Consumer Services, someone who cannot and will not be bought, someone who will warrior up against false promises, tyranny and dereliction of duties that these political bully’s, lobbyist and special interest groups intimidate. Beware of the wolves in sheep’s clothing mentioning all the political committees they served on….We need to vote in a Candidate who is not apart of the “Revolving Door” of big government unless they are a Veteran who served their country in uniform with honor. Not people who inherited their families endowment plans and rub elbows with the powers that be of big sugar.
August 28th is the Primary election day in Florida, and Florida natives need to get to the voting polls and vote intelligently for the right Candidate to represent the office of Commissioner of Agriculture & Consumer Services, then vote again in November.
The timing is perfect to make important and transforming changes. Start draining the swamps in our infiltrated political offices first and replacing professional politicians with more Veterans for the offices of Governor, and Commissioner of Agriculture and I promise you that we the people of Florida and across America will witness healing results.
Start checking the Candidates credentials and resumes, who they are affiliated with and remember, don’t be fooled. Take note on who’s receiving outside funding by various corporations or big sugar and don’t let their smiles fool you. Think twice because the only people who will be taken care of once this Candidate is placed into this powerful office are those corporate sponsors, not the people and the animals or the state of Florida, all who have suffered the ramifications of corrupt and morally bankrupt politicians.
Legislators need to buy the land and send the water south which seems like the most viable solution in creating a pathway into the everglades, the problem is purchasing the land and the engineering cost which could run taxpayers into billions of dollars.
The saddest issues surrounding the greed of big sugar and corporate against the beloved Florida beaches and lakes is death of our animals. What started with Turtles now have Scientist believing the red tide could be killing manatees which are already on the threatened species list.
We are all responsible for our futures legacy, everyone needs to do their part to solve this crime of the century against our magnificent environment in the great state of Florida.
Don’t allow Florida to become another California.
If you witness any animals in distress, Please call FWC at 888-404-FWCC (3922)
BY MARY ELLEN KLAS
Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau
February 06, 2017 06:26 PM
Sugar-cane growers and other farmers who own some of the largest parcels of land in the Everglades Agricultural Area told the Florida Senate on Monday that they will not willingly sell their land to build a water-holding reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee, setting up a possible standoff in the power struggle over the future of Everglades cleanup.
The owners, which include sugar giants U.S. Sugar and Florida Crystals, said in a letter delivered to the Legislature on Tuesday that they “do not support any governmental acquisition of additional farm lands south of Lake Okeechobee to solve issues that are being caused north of Lake Okeechobee and in Martin County.
The letter is signed by 12 individuals representing 14 companies who farm in the EAA. Their argument: Any attempt to buy land to store water south of Lake Okeechobee “simply cannot store enough water to stop the discharges from Lake Okeechobee when our region is inundated from heavy rains.”
The proclamation has the potential to create a steep hurdle for Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, who has proposed spending $2.4 billion to buy 60,000 acres from “any willing seller” to build the reservoirs to store water. The goal is to avoid the damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee that foul the estuaries on the east and west coasts with toxic algae, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency last year.
Absent enough willing sellers, the Senate proposal, SB 10, requires that the state exercise its right to negotiate the purchase of land from U.S. Sugar, which does not want to sell.”
The Federal Government is our Servant, not our master. ~Thomas Jefferson
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