Rick Scott Is Responsible for the Lake Okeechobee Algae Bloom

From the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board, 07/08/2018:

… Let’s look at the full record.

— During Scott’s first year in office, he cut $700 million from the five water management districts. The biggest cut hit the South Florida Water Management District, whose mission includes Everglades restoration. Scott’s appointees on the district’s governing board continue to short the agency on money.

— Scott signed an Everglades bill that slowly phases out the tax on farmers to clean pollution and further delays the quarter-century-old plan to save the “River of Grass.”

— Scott opposed federal efforts to raise water quality standards in Florida.

— With septic tanks and urban runoff from communities north of the lake fouling Lake O’s water, Scott killed a septic tank inspection program in 2012.

— Scott granted long-term leases to farmers in the Everglades Agricultural Area. He also joined legislators on a trip to U.S. Sugar’s hunting lodge in Texas and tried to keep the junket secret. U.S. Sugar is one of his largest political patrons.

— And directly to the point of the current crisis, Scott’s choice to run the South Florida Water Management District opposed the new reservoir that the Legislature approved in 2017. The reservoir would allow the release of water south from the lake, easing the pain on the coast and providing needed water for the Everglades.

In addition, the Scott administration banned the terms “climate change” and “global warming.” Rising seas threaten Florida, and higher summer temperatures – May saw record heat – worsen algae blooms and the red tide that is causing fish kills in the Gulf of Mexico.

Read the entire editorial here.

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