Congress Finally Acted on Lake O'

Actions speak louder than words and yesterday Congress finally acted on Lake O’.

This is a story you shouldn't miss and my take on it. From the Palm Beach Post, Lake O southern reservoir passes U.S. House, will reduce estuary discharges.

From Brian Mast’s office: 

“Fixing our water issues is, without a doubt, the most important priority for our community, and this bill is significant progress in our fight,” Rep. Mast said.  “People are getting sick, animals are dying and our environment is being demolished.  We cannot wait any longer to get this bill signed into law.” 

Additionally, the bill includes provisions written by Rep. Mast to re-evaluate the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule with the aim of reducing the frequency of discharges and to develop a massive water filtration system capable of removing harmful algal blooms from water discharged onto the Treasure Coast.  Also included in the bill are two additional efforts championed by Rep. Mast: 

The St. Lucie Coastal Storm Risk Management Project: This provision authorizes a project in St. Lucie County to restore beaches that have been eroded by storms and establishes a maintenance plan to re-nourish the beach every two to five years. 

The Kissimmee River Project: Under this provision, the State of Florida will receive credit toward the state’s 50% share of the total project cost for work the state has already completed to restore the Kissimmee River to a more natural flow, reducing the negative impacts of Lake Okeechobee.  

My Take: This is extremely encouraging. For years, we’ve talked about these issues without anything changing because the state, local and federal governments all had to work together. What’s in this bill was already signed into law nearly two years ago by Governor Scott in Florida. That means that should this pass the US Senate, and with Nelson and Rubio on board, you’ve got to like its chances. We would finally be taking the action we’ve been talking about all of these years. As is cited the project could take ten years to finish, but that’s ten years today or ten years in the future after even more destruction occurred.  

Earlier this year I pressed Brian Mast on this because I was tired of hearing the “we’re working on it but it’s hard”. That's the kind of excuses that dominated this issue for years. He said he got it and this time was different. That he had really made headway to get it done. Yesterday he proved it. Now it’s time to get it across the finish line in the Senate.  

Photo By: Getty Images



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