Communities voice frustrations SFWMD meeting over Lake O discharges

Posted at 7:02 PM, Jul 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-14 19:02:54-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla-- It was a packed house Thursday at the South Florida Water Management District’s monthly board meeting.

The big items on the agenda related to the algae crisis on the Treasure Coast.

The Board approved several resolutions to keep moving forward with money and plans to address the issues.

However, it was talk about long term solutions that generated most of the discussion.

More than 40 people took the podium to share their concerns about the algae crisis and the Lake Okeechobee discharges.

In response to the governors emergency declaration, the South Florida Water Management District has already started holding more water north of the lake and storing and sending water from Lake Okeechobee elsewhere to held reduce the flows into the St. Lucie Estuary.

“What we want to see is them allocate that money to more permanent solutions instead of small bandaids,” said Evan Miller with Citizens for Clean Water.

Many showed up to the board meeting to say those fixes are still not enough.

“We need to purchase land south of the lake and restore the natural flow,” said Miller.

But man who live and work in agricultural areas south of Lake O say not so fast.

“Even before the algae came up we were blamed for things,” said Janet Taylor, a commission from Hendry County.

Members of the Glades communities showed up at Thursday’s meeting, many of them wearing shirts saying “our lives matter too.”

They voiced their concerns, insisting that this issue and the potential solutions impact their lives, too.

“We’re a rural town, a rural community we depend on agriculture for our livelihood. Without agriculture, we would be a ghost town,” said Taylor.

Taylor said they would like to see the dike around the lake fixed.