Domino Sugar is Killing Florida Ocean Life

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Our wetlands have been drained for decades for the benefit of Domino Brand Sugar. We need these wetlands to filter the polluted water that is currently being rerouted directly into the ocean.

Big Sugar is dominated by two politically connected companies – Florida Crystals and U.S. Sugar – each has given federal candidates and federal lobbyists millions in campaign contributions. The largest is Florida Crystals, which includes the Domino brand, is owned by the Fanjul family.

  • Ban Domino Brand sugar until they stop dumping toxic water into the ocean to protect their bottom line!!

The situation:

  • Lake Okeechobee is one of the nation’s largest lakes, the wellspring of the Everglades and the freshwater heart of South Florida.
  • For 6,000 years, excess groundwater has spilled over the southern rim of the lake, nourishing the Everglades before draining into the Florida Bay.
  • To make way for the sugar cane fields, engineers raised and fortified the lake’s southern shore, funneling all that excess groundwater through an array of canals, levees and pumping stations into two rivers that then dump it into the sea along Florida’s east and west coasts.
  • This cleared the way for the cane fields, but choked off water to the rest of the Everglades. It also infected the two rivers and South Florida’s coastlines with toxic algae.
  • The phosphorus pollution starts with runoff from suburbs, golf courses and farms well north of the lake. It drains into the Kissimmee River. From there, it flows into Lake Okeechobee. During periods of heavy rain, the lake water, laced with phosphorus, is discharged into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and eventually the sea. Along its journey, the phosphorus nourishes plant life, causing algae blooms, which decreases the amount of oxygen available for aquatic animals. This, plus the fact that the excess fresh water pouring into the ocean reduces the salinity of coastal estuaries, is killing ocean life.
  • Billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on a regional flood control system that keeps the cane fields from flooding during periods of heavy rain and irrigated during droughts.
  • Adding to the public cost, the national sugar program requires American consumers to pay twice the world price for sugar through a blend of import quotas, tariffs and loan guarantees.
  • The sugar cane farm area is home to only about 40,000 people that are economically dependent on sugar cane farming. By contrast, some 6+ million people live in the coastal zone affected by the algae – a region fueled by a great diversity of commercial activity, but especially tourism.

Ban Domino Brand sugar until they stop dumping toxic water into the ocean to protect their bottom line!!



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