Rep. Patrick Murphy to visit Treasure Coast; Gov. Scott still has no plans

STUART, Fla. - Tuesday marks 19 days since the U.S Army Corps of Engineers fully opened the locks, allowing thousands of gallons of Lake Okeechobee discharges and run-off to begin flowing into the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon.

Nearly three-weeks later, those that live along the Treasure Coast are dealing with bacteria-filled water and toxic algae in those waterways.

Governor Rick Scott, who has visited the area four times since the discharges began, has yet to visit the toxic waters.

Rep. Patrick Murphy says he's seen the conditions of the water worsening over the last several years, but hasn't been to the Treasure Coast since July 20, before toxic water was confirmed.

Murphy is, however, disappointed that Scott hasn't seen the water, as Murphy is planning a trip down within the week.

Murphy says he has been talking with Gov. Scott to arrange a time for him, or someone with the Department of Environmental Protection, to make a stop along the Treasure Coast.

No time frame has been set in stone, but Murphy does expect a face-to-face meeting with Scott in the next couple of weeks.

That's also when Murphy hopes to have a roundtable meeting with the DEP, South Florida Water Management officials, the Environmental Protection Agency, Army Corps of Engineers and members of the community.

Until then, Murphy says he is still working to find solutions, with or without a visit from Gov. Scott.

"I think it's important for any issue that you see first-hand and understand it because you might end up with a different impression of how bad it is. But, I don't think [visiting] makes or breaks it," Murphy said.

Murphy said he is looking into new solutions to save the waterways, which he couldn't detail on Tuesday, but said he might be able to in the coming weeks.

Murphy will be traveling to the Treasure Coast by the end of the week to meet with Senator Negron a week from  Thursday in Stuart to discuss the toxic waters.

 

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