Make Okeechobee Ok Again
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Agricultural run-off from the Sugar Industry near Lake Okeechobee in the Everglades has polluted the water entering the watershed. The majority of South Florida's water supply is derived from Lake Okeechobee, the contamination of this body of water will be detrimental to not only our communities but, the biodiversity will slowly begin to plummet by endangering more species that are native to our environment.
There are existing policies that deal with this problem currently;
Everglades Forever Act
The EFA was passed in 1994. The long-term water quality objective for the Everglades is to implement the optimal combination of source controls, Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs), Advanced Treatment Technologies (ATTs), and regulatory programs to ensure that all waters discharged to the Everglades Protection Area (EPA) achieve water quality standards consistent with the EFA. The Restoration Planning and Permitting Section of the Bureau of Assessment and Restoration Support is responsible for coordinating with other Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Department) staff, state and federal agencies, industry representatives, and other groups on permitting activities required under the EFA.
The EFA requires the State of Florida to:
Restore and protect the Everglades ecological system.
Authorize the District to proceed expeditiously with implementation of the Everglades Program.
Reduce excessive levels of phosphorus.
Pursue comprehensive and innovative solutions to issues of water quality, water quantity, hydroperiod, and invasions of exotic species, which face the Everglades ecosystem.
Expedite plans and programs for improving water quantity reaching the Everglades.
Provide a sufficient period for construction, testing, and research, so that the benefits of the Everglades Construction Project (ECP) will be determined and maximized prior to requiring additional measures.
Achieving the water quality goals of the Everglades Program through implementation of STAs and Best Management Practices (BMPs) aka Best Available Phosphorus Reduction Technology (BAPRT).
Pursue the ECP expeditiously, but with flexibility, so that superior technology may be utilized when available.
Florida Forever Act
Florida Forever is Florida’s premier conservation and recreation lands acquisition program, a blueprint for conserving natural resources and renewing Florida’s commitment to conserve the state’s natural and cultural heritage.
Florida Forever replaces Preservation 2000 (P2000), the largest public land acquisition program of its kind in the United States. With approximately 10 million acres managed for conservation in Florida, more than 2.5 million acres were purchased under the Florida Forever and P2000 programs.
Since the inception of the Florida Forever program, in July 2001, the State has purchased more than 718,126 acres of land with a little over $2.9 billion.
Through Florida Forever, the State has protected:
607,860 acres of strategic habitat conservation areas
572,540 acres of rare species habitat conservation areas, including 894 sites that are habitats for 320 different rare species, 133 of which are federal or state-listed as endangered, 61 federal or state-listed threatened, and 21 species of special concern
712,670 acres of ecological greenways
126,260 acres of under-represented natural communities
506,319 acres landscape-sized protection areas
382,900 acres of natural floodplains
725,090 acres important to significant water bodies
388,160 acres minimize damage from flooding
9,360 acres of fragile coastline
313,170 acres of functional wetlands
703,890 acres of significant groundwater recharge areas
410 miles of priority recreational trails
377,560 acres of sustainable forest land
956 archaeological/historic sites
11,880 acres in urban service areas
Note: These acreages were derived from the most recently updated Florida Forever data layers, which are continuously amended to reflect the most current scientific analysis of Florida’s natural resources. Additionally the acreages recorded for each measure often overlap, and thus should not be added together.
Acquisition of natural resources is generally increasing each year; however, protected acreage for some natural resources may show a decline from the previous year for various reasons including updates to natural resource GIS layers and priorities, updates to conservation land boundaries, new information about acquisition dates and purchasing programs, and changes in the protected status of lands, i.e. lands no longer managed for conservation purposes.
The Florida Water Resources Act of 1972 (Chapter 373, Florida Statutes)
What we would like to see happen is the implementation of projects that'll keep the conservation of the Everglades in mind, more than former policies that exist. We as the people, need to show interest in issues such as these, by advocating and speaking out against the destruction of our preserved areas.
We created this petition to reach out to our government and to the Florida Citizens.
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