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St. Lucie River

Joe Negron says he’ll push for funding to buy land south of Lake O

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Calls to send the water south of appear to have been heard. Senate President Designate Joe Negron announced Tuesday he planned to push lawmakers to set aside money to purchase land for water storage south of Lake Okeechobee. The Stuart Republican said he has identified two areas — an area south of the lake that straddles the Miami Canal and the Bolles Canal, and an area to the southeast adjacent to existing stormwater treatment areas, canals and the A-1 flow equalization…

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Rick Scott to include money in 2017-18 budget proposal to help clean up Indian River Lagoon and Caloosahatchee River

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A voluntary program to encourage residents to switch from septic tanks could be getting a funding boost. Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday he plans to include additional funding in his 2017-18 budget to help clean up the Indian River Lagoon and Caloosahatchee River. The proposal, the Governor’s Office said, would include new funding for a 50-50 matching grant program with local communities near the areas affected by the algae blooms. “It is up to all of us – the state,…

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Army Corps to reduce lake flows fueling Florida algae bloom

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is calling on President Barack Obama to declare a state of emergency to help businesses harmed by the massive algae bloom fouling some of Florida’s southern rivers and beaches. Rubio on Friday toured a portion of the St. Lucie River where a smelly muck is fouling an area promoted as Florida’s “Treasure Coast.” During a news conference later, he called the impact on tourism, home values and small businesses “catastrophic,” saying he couldn’t think of a…

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‘Guacamole-thick’ algae causes crisis on Florida coastline

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A smelly, “guacamole-thick” muck is fouling a stretch of beaches promoted as Florida’s “Treasure Coast,” where lawmakers and residents blame the federal government, saying the algae crisis is fueled by freshwater flows controlled by Army officials to protect an erosion-prone dike. The blue-green algae is the latest contaminant featured in yearslong arguments over water flowing from Lake Okeechobee, which is critical to South Florida’s water supply and flood control systems. At Central Marine boat docks in Stuart, pea-green and brown…

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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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Rick Scott activates emergency loan program for small businesses impacted by Lake O discharges

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Relief could be coming for some South Florida small businesses impacted by the Lake Okeechobee discharges. On Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott activated Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program for more than 100 businesses affected by the releases. The move comes after theFlorida Department of Economic Opportunity conducted a survey to assess the economic damages in Lee, Martin and St. Lucie counties. “I’m committed to ensuring all those affected by the federal government’s releases from Lake Okeechobee can quickly recover…

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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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