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UF study says more water storage needed south of Lake Okeechobee

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Environmental groups pushing for the state purchase of U.S. Sugar Corp. land south of Lake Okeechobee may have received a boost Monday when a University of Florida study said additional land is needed for water storage. Environmental groups have been pushing the state to exercise an option to buy 46,800 acres for water storage to prevent polluted water in Lake Okeechobee from being discharged to the sensitive estuaries of St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers. But Gov. Rick Scott didn’t include…

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Ad campaign from AIF’s water coalition is ‘confusing,’ Audubon’s Eric Draper says

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An Associated Industries of Florida advertising campaign criticizing “special interests” who want Amendment 1 funding for their “pet projects” is confusing, Audubon Florida’s Eric Draper said Monday. Amendment 1 will provide $757 million for water and land conservation programs in fiscal year 2015-16. Approval by 75 percent of voters in November led quickly to debate over whether funding was intended strictly for land conservation or whether sewage treatment and other water projects are eligible. Associated Industries of Florida, through its…

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New poll: 71% of Florida voters want vote on banning oil drilling

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On the eve of a special legislative session on oil drilling, a new poll shows Floridians overwhelmingly support being given a chance to vote on allowing oil drilling in state waters. A statewide poll of 1,143 registered voters conducted July 15-17 shows that not only do a majority Floridians oppose oil drilling in state waters, but also that 71% support being given a chance to vote on the issue. The new poll also shows that Floridians want their state legislators…

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