A Green Budget
Governor Rick Scott announced his budget for 2018 with surprisingly good news for environmentalists. In a $1.7 billion dollar environmental package, he marks $355 million for Everglades restoration, with $64 million dedicated to the EAA reservoir, $50 million to repair the Herbert Hoover Dike, and $50 million for Florida Forever.
And so what does it all mean? Anyone with a long view of environmental progress in Florida will take a wait and see approach to how it all shakes out during the next legislative season, but this is a hopeful sign for Restoration progress.
SFWMD Public Hearings
The South Florida Water Management District offered two public hearings this week to update and hear input about the progress of the EAA Reservoirs.
Since September 15, 61 billion gallons of Lake Okeechobee water has been discharged into the St. Lucie estuary and 144 billion gallons into the Caloosahatchee. Needless to say, all ears were ready to hear updates about the water storage reservoir that will be built south of Lake Okeechobee with capacity to hold between 80-100 billion gallons of water.
Matt Morrison, the SFWMD head of federal policy and coordination, was reassuring, promising results. He indicated that modelling was underway to discover the best, most efficient and logical plan to create the storage reservoir. He claimed his agency is right on track (follow along on their project tracker) and will be ready to roll out options in January 2018. The public will surely be waiting.