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South Florida Water Management District - page 2

Fight over Everglades refuge pits Florida against feds

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South Florida water officials are threatening to cancel a lease with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over management of a 144,000-acre wildlife refuge in the Everglades. The Miami Herald reports that the South Florida Water Management District owns the land occupied by the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, but the federal agency operates the refuge. State water officials claim the federal agency has done a lousy job of maintaining the refuge, especially when it comes to controlling a…

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Florida’s congressional delegation scores big WIIN, funding Everglades, water projects

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Florida’s Congressional delegation scored a win this week with the passage of a bill that will fund major water projects in Florida, including the Central Everglades Planning Project. Four Florida congressmen put out press releases Thursday touting their votes for The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act of 2016, which passed the House with a 360-61 vote. WIIN would provide more than $1.5 billion in funding for Florida projects, including $976 million for Central Everglades Planning Project, $308…

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Rick Scott urges congressional delegation to take ‘immediate action’ to address algae problem

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It’s time to take action. That was the message Gov. Rick Scott sent to Florida’s congressional delegation in a letter Tuesday. The letter outlines what Florida has done to address the algae-bloom in South Florida, and calls on the delegation to take immediate action to make sure Florida received a federal emergency declaration. “Florida is without a doubt the most beautiful state in the country with some of the world’s most incredible natural treasures. We need your help in protecting…

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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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SFWMD responds to criticism over blue-green algae blooms

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The South Florida Water Management is responding to critics who say the district isn’t doing enough to stop the spread of blue-green algae. Blue-green algae forced Treasure Coast officials to close some Martin County beaches this week. Algae also have been spotted in waterways and canals across much of South Florida. A spokesman for the South Florida Water Management District told the Palm Beach Post Tuesday the algae is widespread in the district. But water management officials have been criticized for not…

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House and Senate close out health care, general gov’t budget silos

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In a swift 15-minute meeting Thursday night, the full bicameral Budget Conference Committee closed out all remaining differences in the chambers’ massive health care and general government budget silos, swapping tens of millions of dollars and making significant progress towards reconciling their respective $80-plus billion proposals. “We could go huddle up for 30 seconds and come back but we knew we were close, so we just thought we’d cut to the chase,” said committee Vice Chairman Sen. Tom Lee, the Senate’s…

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Beyond the pale: Enviro activist calls for “death of thousands” in Lake O discharge controversy

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With much of the nation embroiled in the 2016 presidential campaign, it’s almost understandable that some things in Florida have escaped widespread notice. For those of paying attention, however, they have no doubt been aware of the release of excess water from Lake Okeechobee, a result of historically high El Niño rainfall in South Florida. Unsurprisingly, environmentalists have been vocal in opposition. But this time, the rhetoric may be getting out of hand. The Army Corps of Engineers’ release, as…

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