Last week: Gov. Scott's announcement of a $90-million state investment in the bridging of Tamiami Trail is an exciting moment in Everglades restoration. Floridians living along the Treasure Coast and in Southwest Florida are suffering due to large flows of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee. Water needs to head south. However, you can't move water south unless the cork is popped at the southern end of the Everglades. Gov. Scott's action allows this to happen.
Last week: Aug. 22 was the 17th anniversary of the historic signing of welfare reform. Ft. Lauderdale's own, Congressman Clay Shaw, spearheaded the bipartisan bill through Congress, receiving support from Republican and Democrat governors across the nation. Clay Shaw served South Florida with distinction during his 26 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. His record of working across the partisan aisle is sorely missed.
Last week: The Florida Association of Realtors joined the Everglades Foundation in urging solutions to the damaging discharges coming out of Lake Okeechobee impacting the east and west coasts of Florida. Realtors know first hand the importance of clean water as it relates to real estate. In 2010, an economic report shows for every $1 invested in Everglades restoration, $4 is returned from that investment. Our state's real estate industry benefits from clean water and a restores Everglades.
Looking ahead: Lake Okeechobee continues to rise and water needs to go somewhere. Two options currently exist — east and west. Current policy is causing economic and ecological loss due to pollution in the estuaries. A long-term solution is to move water south into the central Everglades. On Aug. 15, the South Florida Water Management District is poised to approve the Central Everglades Planning Project that does just that. If the District approves the plan, we are only halfway there. The Army Corps of Engineers needs to step up and complete its work prior to the end of 2013 for the project to receive Congressional authorization. A lot at stake with limited time.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun