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Rubio Welcomes Reduced Lake O Discharges, But More Needed To Protect Against Harmful Algae

Jun 30, 2016 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today issued the following statement after learning that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has decided to reduce flows from Lake Okeechobee, just one day after he requested this immediate action. The announcement came as Rubio was discussing the blue-green algae problem along Florida’s Treasure Coast with officials from the South Florida Water Management District, Florida Department of Health, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Florida Department of Environmental Protection in preparation for his visit to the area tomorrow.
“I applaud the Corps for heeding public requests and taking the first step to relieve the Treasure Coast from this grave situation, but more needs to be done,” said Rubio. “Although this is not the first time we’ve faced this problem, it must be taken seriously and acted upon for the safety of our people, businesses and ecology that depend on these waters. The billions of gallons of water being released are lowering salinity levels, pushing algae into the estuaries and harming the delicate ecosystems.
“This afternoon, I was briefed by state agencies on what is being done to respond to the bloom and was assured that they are taking the necessary steps to alert the public of the dangers it presents,” Rubio continued. “I continue to stress the importance of immediate action and reiterate the need for the long-term solutions I’ve been pushing for.
“We must finally authorize the Central Everglades Planning Project, which would send critically-needed water flows south, and fund repairs of the Herbert Hoover Dike,” Rubio added. “Only then can we protect our waterways and prevent further mismanagement. I will be there in person tomorrow to see the algae situation and will continue working with federal, state and local leaders on solutions for the dire conditions on our Treasure Coast.”
Rubio is scheduled to visit the Treasure Coast tomorrow to tour the region and examine the problem firsthand. Earlier this week, he supported Martin County’s request for a state of emergency and said he would support a request from Governor Scott to declare the area a federal disaster.