Lake Okeechobee

Office of Gov. Rick Scott

Florida Governor Rick Scott is urging lawmakers to put $50 million into repairs for Lake Okeechobee’s Herbert Hoover dike.

Lake Okeechobee and South Florida viewed from space.
public domain

The Florida Cabinet has approved a conservation easement in the Lake Okeechobee watershed.

Audubon of Florida / http://audubonoffloridanews.org/?p=11408

A planned reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee could take shape more quickly thanks to an Army Corps of Engineers decision.  

Lake Okeechobee and South Florida viewed from space.
public domain

The Florida House has signed off on Senate President Joe Negron’s top priority: a water reservoir South of Lake Okeechobee. After a quick stop and approval by the Senate, the measure is heading to Governor Rick Scott’s desk.

Sen. Joe Negron (R-Stuart) speaks to members of the Florida Board of Governors Tuesday, 6/21/16
Florida Channel

Florida Senate President Joe Negron said he appreciates Governor Rick Scott’s support for water storage south of Lake Okeechobee. But he’s concerned about Scott’s request to include $200 million to fix the Herbert Hoover dike. Negron said he doesn’t trust the federal government to reimburse the state for repairs to the federally-operated levee.

 The Army Corp of Engineers releases water from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River because of heavy rains.
Credit Dale/flickr / Flickr

House Speaker Richard Corcoran says changes to the Senate’s plan to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee make the proposal better, but he’s refusing to cave on one big issue: whether to borrow money to finance the system.

Audubon of Florida / http://audubonoffloridanews.org/?p=11408

Florida Senate President Joe Negron is hopeful he’ll win support for a Lake Okeechobee reservoir. But his proposal still faces strong opposition from fellow lawmakers and residents south of the lake.

The crowd waiting for the hearing.
Nick Evans

One of the most controversial spending programs of this year’s session passed its second committee stop Wednesday.  The reservoir project championed by Senate President Joe Negron raises conflicting concerns with supporters and opponents.

Sen. Joe Negron speaks to reporters about HB 819. He's urging Gov. Rick Scott not to veto the bill.
LHatter / WFSU News

Florida senate president Joe Negron said he’s not concerned Governor Rick Scott’s budget doesn’t include money for his proposed $2.4 billion reservoir in South Florida.

Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam
www.cdfc.org

State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says the state should complete existing projects before spending money to for water storage in Central Florida. A 60,000  acre parcel of land is the centerpiece of Senate President Joe Negron’s bid to stop polluted water from fouling rivers in his district.

A coalition calling itself Stand Up North Florida went public Monday. It says it wants more state water conservation money to go to North and Central Florida. Representing the group were local and state politicians and business leaders. Environmentalists were notably absent.

A massive sinkhole under a phosphate plant in Central Florida is dumping millions of gallons of contaminated water into the ground. West in Tampa, that city’s mayor is facing questions about his handling of a sewage spill into the bay. And in North Florida, a fight over a proposed wastewater pipeline, has surrounding counties picking sides.

Lake Okeechobee and South Florida viewed from space.
public domain

Researchers and environmentalists have picked up a major ally in their calls for water storage south of Lake Okeechobee.  Incoming Senate President Joe Negron is vowing to make it a priority when the Legislature returns for session.

This year's Everglades Action Day is all about clean water conservation. The annual ecological awareness event was kicked off by a special guest singer who flew in all the way from Margaritaville.

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

A discovery into dolphin genetics may have brought research scientists one step closer to finding out the source of a mysterious animal die-off last year in the troubled Indian River Lagoon.

“Now, I gotta good one for you: if you’re swimming in the water and a fin comes up right by you, how can you tell instantly whether it’s a shark’s fin or a dolphin’s fin,” asked Barry Legé.

The answer? A shark fin is more straight, while a dolphin’s fin is more curved.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU News

The Florida House and Senate are $400 million apart in their state spending plan proposals for the upcoming fiscal year. The House is pushing a $75.3 billion proposal while the Senate's comes in at $74.9 billion. That’s a lot closer than the chambers have been in recent years, thanks to an influx of cash from a recovering economy. But the proposals take different routes to funding two key areas: water projects and school construction.

Water, Water Everywhere

Capital Report: 01-07-2014

Jan 7, 2014

Before Disney World, Sea World and Busch Gardens, visitors flocked to Florida for a different kind of tourist experience, But Regan McCarthy reports as the stat’s springs face pollution and over pumping, that legacy is fading along with the local economies that depend on it.

David Miller / EarthJustice

A state legislative panel has come up with a multi-point plan for cleaning up Central Florida’s polluted water bodies. Issues in the Lake Okeechobee basin arose earlier in the summer as polluted water from the lake was released into surrounding systems.

As Congress starts to work out some disparities between two slightly different water bills, Florida Congressmen and environmental groups are lauding the passage of the about $8 billion legislation as a victory. That’s because a portion of that money is slated for several Florida water projects, including Everglades restoration efforts.

When Florida Congressman Patrick Murphy recently spoke on the House floor in favor of the water bill, he brought with him a prop from Florida’s St. Lucie Estuary.

Following U.S. House passage of a bill which would direct money to water conservation in Florida, a Congressman who pushed the legislation is calling on Governor Rick Scott to stop the political gamesmanship with regards to the state’s local waterways.

In recent weeks, there’ve been several calls for President Barack Obama to take a tour of Florida’s damaged waterways, and Scott has been particularly critical.

As the budget battle continues in Washington D.C., Democrats and Republicans are still at an impasse regarding the federal budget. But, a bipartisan group of Florida leaders came together Thursday on Capitol Hill to discuss an issue lawmakers from both parties can agree on: how to address the damage done to several Florida waterways due to water releases from Lake Okeechobee.

It’s no secret there’s been turmoil lately in Congress—and lawmakers know it’s weighing on the public.

Florida Congressman Trey Radel's office

Two Florida congressmen urged their colleagues to save the state’s waterways during a Thursday panel on Capitol Hill.  Republican Trey Radel and Democrat Patrick Murphy discussed how to address the damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee to Florida waterways. Radel says he, like Governor Rick Scott, would like to see President Barack Obama visit the state to survey the problem.