For Immediate Release: February 10, 2017
Contact: Julie Hill-Gabriel, Deputy Director, 786-246-2903, email@example.com
MIAMI (March 7, 2017) – Audubon commends Florida Representative Thad Altman (R-Rockledge) for filing HB 761 today, which is the House companion to SB 10 filed by Senator Bradley. These bills seek to locate and build a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee.
"By filing House Bill 761, Representative Altman is bringing us one step closer to addressing the crises in Florida’s estuaries like the Indian River Lagoon and restoring America’s Everglades,” said Eric Draper, Audubon Florida’s executive director. “Toxic algae blooms and massive seagrass die-offs have plagued our coasts. Job losses and health concerns have followed. Now is the time for action.”
HB 761 directs the South Florida Water Management District to acquire land from willing sellers and advance the planning study and construction of a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee in the Everglades Agricultural Area. If new willing sellers are not found before the end of 2017, an existing land acquisition agreement between U.S. Sugar and the South Florida Water Management District must be executed.
The EAA Reservoir project has been an element of Everglades restoration since 2000 and is a top priority for Audubon. Senate President Joe Negron (R- Stuart) announced in August that buying land for the EAA Reservoir and speeding up work on the project would be one of his top 2017 legislative priorities. For more details, read Audubon Florida's fact sheet on the EAA Reservoir and Senator Negron proposal.