WPTV

February 1, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott's proposed budget addresses algae issues

By Charlie Keegan

 

http://www.wptv.com/news/region-c-palm-beach-county/west-palm-beach/gov-rick-scotts-proposed-budget-addresses-algae-issues

 

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 budget Tuesday.

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.