September 23, 2016
U.S. Senate support for CEPP vital step forward
Last week, the U.S. Senate adopted a new water resources development bill that authorizes $1.9 billion to advance one of the key pieces of Everglades Restoration – the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP).
Though this bill still needs to pass through the
The U.S. Senate support for CEPP is a vital step forward, but it is only one piece of a larger puzzle and will not by itself resolve the matter of high-volume discharges that continue to negatively impact our estuaries, water quality and economy. Sustained public education and advocacy is needed now more than ever.
To learn more about all of those interconnected pieces, I
encourage every community member interested in the health of our estuaries and
our coastal wildlife to attend the first “Save Our Water: Market Watch Summit”
presented by The News-Press and sponsored in part by the
Another report issued yesterday by the
The continued patterns of development moving into sensitive environmental and agricultural lands and converting wetlands to pavement, coupled with our water quality challenges, should wake us up to this fact: our economy and quality of life are directly tied to how well we preserve our remaining water, land and wildlife. If we do not move now to acquire additional lands south of Lake Okeechobee for needed storage, treatment and conveyance of water for a growing population and a stressed ecosystem, we will lose a historic opportunity to solve one of the key pieces of the puzzle for our long-term sustainability.
Let’s not wait for lands currently in sugar production south of the Lake to be converted into more development; let’s support the effort led by Senator Negron to buy the land now, to send the water south and to leverage the $1.9 billion the U.S. Senate has just authorized to restore our river of grass. Let’s stop the polluted water discharges flowing into our estuaries and create a sound economic foundation for Florida’s future in the face of these many challenges.
You can learn more about the Conservancy’s water quality work online: www.conservancy.org/policy.
Rob Moher is president and CEO of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.