An open letter to State Legislatures

Say No to Sugar's Water Grab

6 so far! Let’s get to 10 signers!

In Florida, water is a public resource that belongs to all of us and must be allocated equitably for the benefit of all who need it, including our environment. Lobbyists for the Sugar Industry want to use Lake Okeechobee, the liquid heart of the Everglades, as their private water storage reservoir. Their goal is to get more than their fair share of water by holding Lake levels dangerously higher for their sole benefit, to the detriment of the Lake, the Northern Estuaries, the Everglades, Florida Bay, and the communities that live immediately south of the lake that face higher flood risk when water levels are high. Years of science show that high lake levels result in a dirtier, unhealthy, and unsafe lake. Recent years of high lake levels led to the loss of nutrient-absorbing marsh vegetation and threatened the Herbert Hoover Dike with catastrophic failure. Harmful algal blooms appeared as recently as 2016 and 2018, with devastating impacts to estuary ecosystems, public health, loss of business revenues, and declining property values in coastal communities. We urge you to reject efforts to prioritize water supply for an industry over everyone else’s needs, that will in turn undermine the public’s multi-billion dollar investment in Everglades restoration. The answer for water supply needs is not to keep the lake higher. Rather, it’s to double down on the Everglades restoration projects that will provide the infrastructure to capture and redirect water where it is most needed while providing the tools necessary to manage Lake Okeechobee for the benefit of the public and the environment. Restoring the Everglades will replenish water supply for people, farms, and the environment.

First sent on May 26, 2020 by Tizzy

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