For decades, Everglades Trust has been on the front lines of Everglades restoration. We’ve worked to keep the focus on making the EAA Reservoir – the Everglades reservoir and treatment project – a reality. This one project has been a linchpin of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan since its inception in 2000, yet 20 years later our government still doesn’t have it built.
Out of 68 projects, this reservoir and treatment component – the Everglades reservoir south of Lake O – was ranked number two. 20 years ago. And as we all know too well, the situation we’re in now is far more dire than it was 20 years ago.
After agreeing to it in 2000, the sugar cartel has fought it at every turn, dragging out the process to their benefit while the Everglades and Florida Bay deteriorate more each year from a lack of freshwater and both coasts of Florida are tortured by toxic, polluted water discharges.
After decades of this tug of war, Florida now has the dedicated funding and the federal government has authorized the EAA Reservoir. But before work can begin, the Army Corps needs to issue a permit. Before the Army Corps can issue a permit, federal law requires an Environmental Impact Statement or, EIS. This step has been completed and the Army Corps announced they are now accepting public comment on the Final EIS (available here) for the EAA Southern Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area.
Comments will be accepted in writing until Monday, February 24th. This is an important time to make your voice heard, demanding this project move forward with all due haste. Take five minutes out of your day to be on the record along with us!
Please send comments by email to EAAReservoir@usace.army.mil or by mail to this address:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
ATTN: Andrew LoSchiavo
701 San Marco Boulevard
Jacksonville, Florida 32207-8175
You can read the documents here.
This vital reservoir and treatment project south of the lake will allow us to store and treat water from Lake Okeechobee before sending it south to the starving Everglades and Florida Bay, and greatly reducing any need for polluted discharges to the coasts. Every single unbiased and independent biologist, hydrologist and wetlands expert, including the National Academy of Sciences, agrees.
In 2017, with the might of Senate President Joe Negron, we got the plan and funding to move forward from the state. But Everglades restoration is a 50-50 partnership – we need the federal government, too.
So, we fought like the dickens to get the federal authorization for the EAA Reservoir included in the Water Resources and Development Act of 2018. This was a big win and a huge step forward to sending water south. But no project moves forward without funding, so we battled just as hard for the federal funding needed for the project. For the first time ever, we’ve got the funding we need and federal authorization of the project.
It is critical that Floridians speak up and stay engaged as this project moves forward. It is and always has been the power of the public that truly moves the needle on Everglades restoration. As always, it will take a continuously engaged public to stay the course to save and protect America’s Everglades.
Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and poet, put it best when she said: “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” We could not agree more.
Please continue to stick with us!
With an utter lack of integrity, purporting to care about fixing the mess they got us into, declaring their undying commitment to the Everglades and Florida’s waterways, this Legislature is merely rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic. We call it Fake Hustle. The polluters say JUMP and the Legislature says HOW HIGH?!
“Until very recently, if the history of Everglades restoration had been a dance, it would have been an easy one: ‘one step forward, one step back.’ Enough dancing. It’s time for a parade – all of us marching forward, with no stops.” –Eric Eikenberg, Everglades Foundation
Given the Fanjul’s outsized influence over the government in the DR, the victims are trying desperately to have the case heard in the US. It is an American company, after all, and serves as an offshore proxy that has led to the destructive sugar subsidy program in the US. It’s grotesque on many levels.
One of the best decisions Governor DeSantis has made since taking office was to appoint Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch to the SFWMD governing board. Former Mayor of Sewell’s Point in Martin County and a generational expert on the St. Lucie River and Indian River lagoon, Jacqui is practical, proud and determined to save this northern Everglades estuary.
URGENT: Tell your Legislator to Vote NO on Anti-Voter Initiative Bills!
Our rights to participate in direct democracy are sacred to our republic and not negotiable. Elected officials should be working to make it easier to access democracy and government at all levels, not harder.