Angry about the green slime in the river? Wonder what you can do? Here are some answers…

Nationally renowned five-term Martin County Comissioner Maggy Hurchalla provides important suggestions on the St. Lucie River crisis:


CEPP is the Central Everglades Planning Project that sends more water south from Lake Okeechobee to Everglades National Park . THIS WEEK is before the South Florida Water Management District for approval. It won’t save the river by itself, but if it doesn’t get approved this week, we can’t save the river.


CERP is the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Without all the parts of the comprehensive plan we can’t save the river. It has to happen and it has to happen faster. Every week and every year we will have to fight for Congressional funding.


Without more and faster land acquisition by the State of Florida, CERP can’t be built. Before the next session of the legislature we need to make the Governor and the legislature understand that they need to buy CERP land now.They need to buy the land that has been identified in CERP projects that have been authorized by Congress.


We can’t keep storing for water users all the water they want whenever they want it and then dumping the excess on the coastal estuaries. This will be a hard one, but we need to refigure our water management strategies with the legislature and the SFWMD.

 To do something this week, tell the SFWMD to approve CEPP NOW!

CEPP is the immediate issue.

It will be decided this week.

The South Florida Water Management District is meeting on Thursday as to whether the State of Florida will formally vote to sponsor CEPP.

Until the Water Management District votes to sponsor this component of CERP, it cannot receive Congressional authorization. If it does not get Congressional authorization in this year’s Water Resources Bill, they can’t fund it and they can’t build it. If it doesn’t get authorized this year, there may not be another Water Resources Bill for seven years.

CEPP alone will not save us. CEPP along with water storage reservoirs around Lake Okeechobee will cut discharges to the estuary by 50%.

THIS WEEK it is CEPP we can do something about.

Someone has been carrying out a quiet under-the-radar campaign to discredit CEPP.

• They are telling folks on the St. Lucie Estuary that if CEPP gets authorized the reservoir on the St. Lucie Canal won’t get built. That’s not true.

•They are telling folks on the west coast that if CEPP gets authorized, the Caloosahatchee Reservoir will not get built. That’s not true.

•They are telling state officials that if we send more water south, the state will have the legal and financial responsibility to clean it up. That is true. The water needs to go south and the state needs to do its part.

•They are telling fishermen and hunters that moving water south will drown their favorite fishing and hunting areas. That’s not true. A free-flowing Everglades instead of a diked Water Conservation Area will be a healthier Everglades.

Coastal utilities are being told that if water goes south it won’t be available for coastal water supply. CEPP is part of CERP. It is a critical part of CERP. Coastal utilities will be better off, not worse off, when CERP is completed.

Sugar says they support CERP. Their engineers are working to discredit it. Water that goes south can’t be stored in Lake Okeechobee to water cane fields. And it can’t be dumped on us.

This is one step. It is this week’s emergency to turn our anger and energy into making something happen.

I believe the Water Management District will do the right thing. They need our support.

Come to the meeting at the Water Management District Headquarters in West Palm (3301 Gun Club Rd, WPB) on Thursday August 15th at 9:30am. 

[Editor’s note: The South Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board phone is 561.682.6433]

 Email the members of the Water Management District at:

 Daniel Okeefe

 Kevin Powers

 Rick Barber

 Sandy Batchelor

 Mitch Hutchcraft

 James J. Moran

 Juan M. Portuondo

 Timothy Sargent

 Glenn J. Waldman


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