It is very important that the person representing us in the U.S. Congress understands our unique water issues and what it will take to fix it.
The discharges from Lake Okeechobee have been all over the news. The St. Lucie Estuary and the Indian River Lagoon are in dire condition due to massive discharges of polluted freshwater from Lake Okeechobee and the agricultural aqueducts. The discharges have high levels of phosphorus and pesticides, while depositing sediment into the estuaries every day.
The two Democratic candidates for Florida’s 18th Congressional District have made statements on the issue, and I want to take a moment to examine both.
Businessman Randy Perkins, CEO of AshBrit, likes to talk about rebuilding the perimeter:
“I will work to make sure the Army Corps of Engineers gets the funding they need to rebuild the perimeter of the Lake, hold the water, and avoid the harmful discharges that threaten our local waterways. I know disaster management and I will work hard to be a part of a solution that will help restore our local waterways.”
He said almost exactly the same thing in a flyer he sent out in the mail too – he only talks about the dike. But will this solve anything?
No it won’t. It won’t solve anything for the people who are getting the discharges, nor the people out by the lake, nor the aquifers that need to be recharged, or the Everglades or the Florida Bay.
This solves nothing. Business Randy Perkins might think he knows disaster management but he doesn’t have a clue about our water issues.
The dike needs to be fixed that is for sure. The issue is with the management of the water. Once the water hits the ground it must be managed in a meaningful way. This years disaster really had to do more with bad water management then the dike and that is another blog on another day. The Army Corp of Engineers will always worry about the dike failing and hurting the people in the Glades as do we the people that live on the coast. Making statements like this serves as just one more distraction in a sea of distractions that never fix this issue. We are all in peril. Politicians that will not look at reality keep us all in peril.
Rick Scott said the same thing a few weeks ago and Randy Perkins seems to be echoing what Rick Scott is saying. This is unacceptable. This will no longer be tolerated by any of us on the east and the west and I hope in the middle. This goes for Mr Perkins and any other politician who doesn’t want to do their homework. We, the people of Martin County, are not the wicked stepchildren of Palm Beach County. This matter need to be resolved. Land needs to be bought and a flow way needs to go south.
Mr Perkin’s gave Rick Scott 200K for his campaign.
This is the difficulty when you have people that come here from other places and do not understand. I understand Mr Perkins. I lived in Boca for 25 years and I didn’t have a clue until I moved here.
I wonder if Randy Perkins simply does not understand this issue, having never been a resident of Florida’s 18th District.
Candidate Jonathan Chane, on the other hand, actually understands the issue. He has made it a point to come here, listen and learn about the problem. More importantly, he understands the solution. He understands the only way to fix this issue is to buy the land south of Lake Okeechobee for storage and cleanup. He lives in our district and he’s has taken the time to go out on the lagoon with the Indian RiverKeeper.
Jonathan says, “Until we pressure the state to buy the land south of Lake Okeechobee, all the half-measures in the world won’t make a dent in this problem.”
Everything else is a needless distraction. We don’t need any more distractions. We need to fix this issue. We cannot be polluted anymore. We cannot have fresh water coming down our St Lucie River and destroying our estuary, murdering our oysters and killing our sea grass.
We need to do this for people in the east and the west and the people in the middle. We need to do this for the Indian River Lagoon and Ft Meyers Beach. We need to do this for aquifers, the Everglades and the Florida Bay. We need to do this for the dolphins, fish and the crabs and everything else that is affected when those locks open up.
We got the money thru Amendment 1 and that was diverted. Rick Scott thinks we are stupid as he tried to play the blame it on the Feds game. Apparently Mr Perkins think we are stupid also.
We’re not and we will not tolerate any distraction one more minute.