Earlier today Audubon Florida and the Everglades Foundation sent a letter to Governor Rick Scott proposing a short-term option for holding more water south of Lake Okeechobee.
The South Florida Water Management District owns approximately 16,000 acres of land in the Everglades Agricultural Area that will be used in the Central Everglades Planning Project, which is pending congressional authorization. The land is currently being leased to a private company for sugar cane cultivation. We recommend the state utilize this site now as a short-term dispersed water management project.
Holding three feet of water on this land- typical storage in a dispersed water management project- would total more than 13 billion gallons of water. This is equivalent to ten days of maximum discharges of Lake Okeechobee water to the St. Lucie River. Click here for more information.
As the algae bloom crisis persists, the call to immediately begin planning for a Reservoir in the EAA continues to resound.
Unfortunately, the future of Florida Bay also remains uncertain. Audubon Florida's science and policy staff are working to make the case for Everglades restoration and its importance in addressing our coastal water crises.
Click here to watch our own Dr. Jerry Lorenz discuss the massive seagrass die-off in Florida Bay and show why Everglades restoration is so important.
And don't miss Audubon’s Julie Hill-Gabriel discuss the current crisis and proposed solutions with NBC 6 Miami’s Jackie Nespral. Julie's part starts at around the 7:30 mark in the video below: