Another legislative session is upon us and, as is usual for Florida, water and conservation are set to be hot topics. The biggest issue of contention will be SB 10, a proposal by Senate President Joe Negron. There is also a companion bill in the House, HB 761. The problem is that there are serious potential harmful effects for the preservation of water quality and resources in North Florida.
This bill calls for the state purchasing anywhere between 60,000 and 100,000 acres of farmland to be used for water storage south of Lake Okeechobee at a cost of over $1 billion. The idea behind it is to help alleviate water from flowing into the estuaries, which is believed by some to be the cause of the algae bloom issues that South Florida is facing.
However, many scientists and environmental researchers, including researchers from the University of Florida and the Southwest Florida Water Management District, have come to the conclusion that this idea is just that, an idea. They don’t see any scientific evidence to prove that this idea will work. Studies show that it is vital to clean the water before it enters the Lake. Better cleanup efforts are needed in North and Central Florida to help the entire state.