The following comments were made to the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board at the July 15 meeting:
We at Florida Bay Forever are crystal clear on our position: a truly equitable schedule for the lake is one that sends the maximum amount of water south to the Everglades and Florida Bay while reducing harmful discharges to the estuaries. There is no perfect plan, but we believe that the best alternative is plan CC with removal of zone F. I am pleased to see that the district is considering optimizing this alternative and is already running model run after model run to ensure that science guides our discussions of equity and shared adversity.
In the context of LOSOM, and always: I truly appreciate the comments made by board members today regarding expediting and completing CERP projects: because of your hard work at the district we are on the precipice of being able to truly send the water south and to provide relief to the residents of Monroe County. You and your partners at the Army Corps are building the infrastructure we so desperately need for clean water to flow to Florida Bay. We still have years ahead of us before we realize that storage and Florida Bay will remain limbo until that capacity is built, but beyond infrastructure, Lake operations can provide short term relief for an often parched and vulnerable Florida Bay as we await the completion of these major projects.
We need both infrastructure and operations to safeguard the Everglades and Florida Bay. You can address operations today with your position on LOSOM. Your decision will inevitably influence the alternative selected by the corps. Please do your part, keep your foot on the gas with the best science possible, and recommend the plan that will help protect our Everglades and Florida Bay.