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Urge local reps to support state water storage bill

April 26, 2017
Lehigh Acres Citizen

To the editor:

This week, the Florida Senate voted 36-3 to support a project that will reduce the harmful Lake Okeechobee discharges that are devastating Southwest Florida's ecology and economy. Elected leaders at the state and federal level must invest in infrastructure to protect the waters that are the lifeblood of our community here in Lee County.

Last year, Gov. Scott declared a state of emergency in four counties that lasted 242 days. In response to this prolonged water crisis, Senate President Joe Negron proposed a plan. Senate Bill 10 (SB10) calls for a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee to clean the water and send it south. Funding for the project is available through the Legacy Florida Act, which Gov. Scott signed into law last year. This project will bring relief to the Caloosahatchee and all homeowners who live on the canals that flow from the river - like me. It will also help restore Everglades National Park, one of our greatest treasures.

The state Senate just approved this bill. Now we need our state House members to do the same.

There is a need to invest in infrastructure to protect and enhance the iconic landscapes of our national parks here in Florida and across the country. With the Trump administration's campaign promise of investing in infrastructure, our parks are a natural place to start. The Park Service is facing more than $12 billion in needed infrastructure repairs. Florida's national parks alone need $215 million to fix roadways, trails and upkeep of park facilities. Now is the time to invest in these treasured places.

Together our state and federal elected officials must invest in Everglades National Park and the greater South Florida ecosystem for the residents and tourists who come to fish, boat, swim, and enjoy our waters. And Cape Coral residents should urge Florida Legislators to vote for SB10.

Gene Piccirillo

Cape Coral



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