News-Press Mailbag

November 1, 2016

Need holistic approach to water

Quit Blaming Us!  The towns nestled along the shores of Lake Okeechobee want to see clean water and sustain our way of life without destroying our economic viability just as much as the coastal communities.

Lake Okeechobee and the EAA farmers do not produce the water the natural flow of water begins north of Lake O.  I agree with send water south, but it must be clean first when its sent south to Lake Okeechobee from the northern source via the Kissimmee River.  The Everglades flow way does not originate in Lake Okeechobee but north of the Lake its one system so please do not ignore the connectedness of this natural water system.  We must look at the entirety of the original sheet flow from the Kissimmee River source to Florida Bay to truly address the water issues during dry and rainy seasons.

I love maps and on a trip to Tallahassee (2002), I had an opportunity to visit the state archives and asked for copies of two maps which I found fascinating since they were about Lake O.

These issues will continue to beset us if we do not take the time now to look at it from a holistic approach to find real solutions to preserve the natural habitat of Lake Okeechobee, the coastal estuaries and what is left of the Everglades that has not been consumed by development.

I am more than willing to have the necessary conversations to protect our environment that result in the state, counties and cities incorporating solutions that will benefit all South Florida residents and businesses.

Mali Soto Gardner, Clewiston City Commissioner and Glades resident