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Senate Panel Ready To Wade Into Lake Okeechobee Issues

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
This is what the toxic blue-algae bloom looked like in Lake Okeechobee from above on July, 2, 2016.

Focusing on a priority of Senate President Joe Negron, a Senate panel in January will receive a series of presentations about polluted water discharges from Lake Okeechobee and efforts to restore the Everglades.

The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee`          on Jan. 11 will hear presentations by agencies such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District, along with presentations by environmental advocates and agricultural landowners, according to an agenda posted online.

The state and residents have repeatedly grappled with polluted discharges from Lake Okeechobee into waterways on the Treasure Coast and in Southwest Florida. Negron, R-Stuart, has made a priority of addressing the issue and has proposed a plan to use conservation money to buy farmland south of the lake for water storage.