Central Everglades Plan Headed To President Obama
A bill thatís a major step toward restoring
the Evergladesí natural water flow is on its way to President Obama.
Late Friday night, the Senate approved a
nearly $2 billion dollar plan called the Central Everglades Planning Project,
more commonly known as the Central Everglades Plan. The plan was initially approved by Congress in September,
but language discrepancies between the House and Senate versions had to be
ironed out before it could go to the president.
"Right now if you think of the
Everglades, you have three or four compartments. And some of the compartments
have too much water. Some of the compartments donít have enough,"
said Eric Eikenberg is CEO of the Everglades Foundation.
"Too much water leads to flooding; too little water can result in fires
and plant die-off.
"The Central Everglades Plan is going
to remove all of these man-made barriers, these levees, these dams, and allow
water to flow across the central part of the system," Eikenberg said.
Removing man-made obstacles will help allow
water to flow south from Lake Okeechobee, so it doesnít have to be released to
the east and west. Those east-west releases were a main cause of the smelly,
guacamole-like algae that polluted waterways along Floridaís coasts this
Eikenberg says a reservoir plan proposed by
incoming Florida House President Joe Negron would help reduce pollution in the
water, before that water gets sent south. Negron's plan is
expected to be taken up by Florida legislators when the Legislature goes into
session in March.