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South Florida Water Management District - page 3

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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Are environmental groups becoming the new gaming interests?

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Industry “food fights” are nothing new, with a few running battles that go on for so long, opponents forget what the fight was originally all about. What they know is they just don’t want the other guys to win. Disputes over the Seminole Compact (or other gaming bills for that matter) rarely pass the Legislature simply because one party doesn’t want the other to gain ground – even if they are forced to sacrifice something on their end. Joining gaming…

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State officials say Everglades water policy, BMP regime are working

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The South Florida Water Management District was joined by Republican elected officials Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and state Rep. Matt Caldwell this week in saying tighter restrictions on agriculture in the Everglades Agricultural Area are unnecessary because best management practices, or BMPs, are working. Levels of harmful phosphorous — a product of agricultural runoff into the ecologically sensitive area — are down 79 percent according to recently released state data. “For a milestone 20th year, water flowing from farmlands in the Everglades Agricultural Area achieved phosphorus reductions that…

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Email insights: Say it ain’t so, Joe Negron

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Some people simply won’t take no for an answer, such as Republican state Sen. Joe Negron. After the South Florida Water Management District rejected a land deal where the state would buy thousands of acres south of Lake Okeechobee for water treatment and storage, environmentalists and a handful of politicians – including Negron – are not letting go. This prompted a recent email from the Miami Tea Party with an ominous warning: Will eminent domain be the next tool used to seize…

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Water, fracking bills die as Senate meets without House

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A House bill establishing comprehensive water policy was amended and passed by the Senate on Wednesday but was dead because the House had adjourned on Tuesday. And House bills dealing with hydraulic fracturing were not voted on in the Senate because their Senate sponsor said they lacked the two-thirds vote needed. The 2015 legislative session continued in an unusual atmosphere on Wednesday with the Senate taking up bills after the House adjourned amid a budget impasse over healthcare spending. A…

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Feds halt Lake O discharges after Florida pols sound alarm

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shut off discharges from Lake Okeechobee after claims of an algae bloom in waters coming from the lake. The federal agency discharges water to prevent weakening the Herbert Hoover Dike around the lake. But the nutrient-rich discharges can cause algal blooms that smother aquatic life in Indian River Lagoon and the Caloosahatchee River. “I have personally seen video and photos confirming that water adjacent to Lake Okeechobee is currently experiencing a toxic blue-green algae…

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Legislators, ignore the Death Mermaid at your peril

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OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE–When the Death Mermaid shows up, pay attention. Back in 1881, she appeared to Hamilton Disston, warning him against trying to drain the Everglades. Old Ham, never the most emotionally stable of multimillionaires, shut his eyes tight and swore on his mother’s grave he’d stop drinking cologne. In 1969, she scared the feds into killing the Everglades Jetport, a project beloved of South Florida Democrats. It would have been the largest airport in the world and bang in the…

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