Amendment One vote in November could send treated water south to Everglades

STUART, Fla. - It's a slow day at Shrimper's Bar and Grill in Stuart.

Restaurant manager Paul Hines fears it could be worse if the Army Corps of Engineers starts discharging water from Lake Okeechobee again.

"It would be another nightmare, because we've gone through this already. We've seen the drop in sales especially on weekends," said Hines.

Hines said the whole marina suffered last year after toxic algae blooms infested the waters.

Hines said, "It hurt the marina in selling gas, hurts the fisherman because no one wants to go out, and of course it hurts the restaurants because they're not out boating leisurely or coming in for lunch or dinner."

If voters pass Amendment One in November, some much needed help could come for the river and lagoon.

The amendment would allow lawmakers to allocate 33 percent of a documentary stamp tax to buy land for water conservation in the Everglades, where treated water from lake Okeechobee could be stored.

"Those are really necessary in Florida cause if we don't set aside for water conservation and storing and treating water or for our land preservation, we're gonna lose that to development and other purposes," said Mark Perry with Florida Oceanographic Society. 

Which sounds like promising news for Hines.

"It seems like a win win situation, but in the mean time, for our concerns, obviously being selfish, we'd rather have it go south," said Hines.

If levels at Lake Okeechobee surpass the elevation of the canal, the Army Corps of Engineers may have to consider discharging.