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South Florida Water Management District holds first meeting with new members

Posted at 7:19 PM, Mar 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-15 04:33:28-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Thursday marked the first South Florida Water Management District meeting with Gov. Ron Desantis and his newly-appointed board members.

The more than seven-hour meeting discussed several projects throughout the state, however, the one item not on the agenda but received applause was from Jacqui Thurlow- Lippisch.

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The former high school teacher and former commissioner and former mayor of Sewell’s point asked scientists from the SFWMD moving forward to simplify their data and findings so everyone can understand water releases from Lake Okeechobee, as well as water quality.

“It’s just overload of all the scientific information and we need the scientific information, but if you have the information and you can’t communicate to the people who pay tax dollars for it what good is it? We have to be able to understand what’s happening here in a simple way,” said Thurlow-Lippisch.

The board member, who grew up on the St.Lucie River says she believes most people would be surprised to know when the SFWMD references water quality they don’t mean overall quality throughout the state but rather the water quality of new SFWMD projects.

“So I’d really ask for a simpler format. You know on something that includes everything and everyone not just breaking things down into this side or side, but where does it start over by Orlando, where does it end in Florida Bay, everything in between and how they all connect and what we’re doing to hold water that’s damaging the estuaries, accountability that’s also something the governor wants,” said Thurlow-Lippisch.

The meeting held in West Palm Beach and was packed with people. A lot of the public comments were thanking the new board members for their work so far and their commitment to more transparency moving forward.