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Governor Rick Scott signs bill for reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee

Posted at 4:06 PM, May 12, 2017

Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill into law that aims to reduce harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the St Lucie River.

The bill provides money to create a reservoir south of the lake to store water.

Instead of an original proposal to take agricultural land from the Glades community, lawmakers came up with a plan to build the reservoir only on state land. 

Farmer Stewart Stein says the original bill would have been bad for his business in South Bay.

"Would have took 2 farms that I manage," says Stein.

After taking an aerial tour south of Lake Okeechobee, Gov. Scott signed a revised version of Senate Bill 10. 

When completed the reservoir will store enough water to fill 12,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Once constructed, it is expected to reduce harmful discharges to prevent algae blooms like the ones many experienced last summer.

"Good for all of us. Good for our wildlife. It's good for our agriculture industry. This is good for our state," Gov. Scott said.

He said another piece to the puzzle is fixing the Herbert Hoover Dike. "Very important to me that we get the dike fixed."

The US Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of reinforcing the dike to be completed by 2025.

Governor Scott wants to secure state dollars to speed up repairs.

"I'm going to continue to work with our legislature to make sure we help jumpstart this with $200 million. We're going to make sure this money is allocated," Scott said.

That's something everyone in the Glades can get on board with.