February 1, 2017
Gov. Rick Scott's proposed
budget addresses algae issues
By Charlie Keegan
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Gov.
Rick Scott’s proposed budget includes funding a plan to help curb algae blooms
along the Treasure Coast.
Scott unveiled the $84 billion state
Missing from the plan was money to buy land for a reservoir
south of Lake Okeechobee. Florida Senate President Joe Negron from Stuart filed
legislation calling for that new reservoir.
The governor’s budget does
provide funding for reservoirs already planned and under construction east and
west of Lake Okeechobee.
The budget calls for $140 million to finish the C-44 reservoir
and continue work on the C-43 reservoir. Those reservoirs aim to reduce the
impacts of discharges from Lake Okeechobee on the St. Lucie
and Caloosahatchee estuaries.
The budget would also fund $20 million worth of work to the C-51
reservoir. That storage area would relieve the Lake Worth Lagoon.
Other proposals in the governor’s “Fighting for Florida’s Future”
2017-2018 budget address the algae issue.
Scott would like to invest $60 million to clean the Indian River
and Caloosahatchee lagoons.
About $40 million of that initiative would go toward a grant
program to help cities and homeowners convert from septic to sewer systems. The
idea is to reduce the amount of pollution entering the waterways.
Overall, the proposed budget sets aside $225 million for
Everglades restoration projects.