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Caloosahatchee

Federal action sought for Florida coastline tainted by algae

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Officials want federal action along a stretch of Florida’s Atlantic coast where the governor has declared a state of emergency over algae blooms. The blue-green algae is the latest contaminant in yearslong arguments over water flowing from Lake Okeechobee, which is critical to South Florida’s water supply and flood control systems. The Martin County Commission is inviting the president to view deteriorating water conditions that local officials blame on freshwater being released from the lake, according to a statement released…

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Everglades Foundation commends lawmakers for final passage of “Legacy Florida” funding

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The Everglades Foundation lauded lawmakers Friday for passing a bill that would fund Everglades restoration efforts with up to $200 million a year. HB 989, put forward by incoming Senate President Joe Negron and Republican Rep. Gayle Harrell, would pull the lesser of 25 percent or $200 million from the money collected under the 2014 land conservation amendment each year. That money would then be spread across Everglades projects at the South Florida Water Management District and the Comprehensive Everglades…

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Senators divided over using state park money to control Lake O discharges

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Florida senators are divided over a proposal taking money out of the state park system for a pilot program to help reroute discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and estuaries. LobbyTools reports on a meeting of the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday, where Stuart Republican Joe Negron proposed amending the Senate budget to include $750,000 in recurring funds and $6.75 million in nonrecurring funds for the South Florida Water Management District. The money would go to…

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Everglades group releases petition supporting U.S. Sugar land buy

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Environmental groups supporting the purchase of 46,000 acres of U.S. Sugar Corp. land launched on Wednesday commercials and released a petition from scientists in support of the proposal. The ads from the Everglades Trust show polluted water from Lake Okeechobee being discharged into the St. Lucie River with signs in Martin County warning against swimming. “Legislators must respect the mandate of the voters and use the Amendment 1 funds for what the voters intended — to buy lands in the…

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Today on Context Florida: Banned phrases, repeating history, polluted water and high-stakes cheating

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Today on Context Florida: In light of Gov. Rick Scott banning use of the phrases “climate change” and “global warming” by Department of Environmental Protection staff, Daniel Tilson offers a “Top Ten” list of terms not to use in any form if working for the governor. Terms include “Affordable Care Act” (should be…“Obamacare” or “Socialist health care law”), “Voter suppression” (should be …“Fighting voter fraud” or “Election integrity”), “Bad jobs” (should be…“New opportunities” or “Let’s keep working”) and “Middle-class stagnation” (should…

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