As tourists and seasonal residents to the state of Florida we are not sure that you are aware that we are aware of the impending disaster of the The St. Lucie River Estuary and the Indian River Lagoon and the Caloosahatchee River its estuaries and sensitive coral reefs are suffering because of the illegal pollution that is killing the wildlife and creating a health hazard for humans. This lack of action is impacting our desire to spend our money in a state we also love. We ask you to please help clean up this problem if you want us to come back.
The St. Lucie River Estuary and the Indian River Lagoon and the Caloosahatchee River and its estuaries and ocean reefs are in critical condition due to large discharges of polluted freshwater from Lake Okeechobee and the agricultural canals. Discharges now exceed 4.5 billion gallons per day in the St. Lucie river alone! The water has high levels of phosphorus, nitrogen and pesticides while depositing over 500 cubic yards of sediment into the estuaries daily during the discharges. This is also a direct loss of billions of gallons of freshwater to the ocean that would normally recharge Florida's fresh water aquifers which like the Florida locals we also depend on when we visit. Just like the locals who live in Florida year round we come for the environment that make Florida unique and special to us.
Direct impacts of the discharges include fish with lesions, dying oyster populations and loss of seagrass habitat. Why would we want to spend our money boating, fishing, and enjoying all water-related activities in that environment? We can go elsewhere and we will be happy to spend our money in those places that take water quality and its local citizens seriously.
Stop the Discharges and Pollution before it is Too Late! Find and fight for funding for CEPP and completion of CERP and push for an accelerated timeframe make the buyback happen. Remove the bureaucracy we know you have the power to remove.
We, the undersigned, demand that the US Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District and you as the Governor do all you can to stop the discharges of pollution that are killing our estuaries and accelerate the clean up schedule for the River of Grass. Florida tourists support the buyback of the 700,000 acre "Everglades Agricultural Area" and restoring the land to its original use as the "River of Grass. We demand that our Federal government and Florida's state government enforce the Federal "Clean Water Act", and other similar laws, prohibiting the discharge of any polluted water into the canals and waterways that flow into the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon Caloosahatchee River. This is not just a tourism related issue, but a serious health hazard that deserves the utmost urgency for the locals in Florida and for a state we would love to continue to visit but are finding it harder to justify why we should return.
Stop the discharges and fast track the buyback process using your power as Governer of Florida.