Many politicians "talk green" at election time, and advocate for restoring the Everglades and stopping damaging Lake Okeechobee discharges to the coastal estuaries.
But only a few stand out and actually deliver. One example is Senator Joe Negron, who has strongly advocated for Treasure Coast waters during his tenure. Earlier this year, Negron showed his commitment by calling for the state of Florida to partner with the federal government to commit to the purchase of 60,000 acres of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) to store, clean and convey water south to Florida Bay, sparing the coastal estuaries billions of gallons of polluted, fresh water runoff.
Negron has called into question the Army Corps of Engineers' Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule at every turn, arguing for the Corps to consider the adverse effects on the coastal waters alongside the irrigational needs of the sugar industry.
Negron has also signed the Now or Neverglades Declaration, which calls for the land purchase in the EAA. He has met extensively with stakeholders and scientists to validate the conclusion that the EAA land buy is essential to supporting the cornerstone water project in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. In 2013 Negron convened a special session in Stuart to take input from citizens, Everglades experts, and water management agencies to form a course of action in an open, public environment – a sharp contrast to the closed negotiations and private chambers where so much policymaking has historically happened.
Negron also commissioned the University of Florida Water Institute to provide expert recommendations on Everglades restoration and solutions to the Lake Okeechobee discharges. The report came back strongly advocating for the purchase of Everglades Agricultural Area land as part of an overall water storage plan.
As incoming president of the Florida Senate, Negron has promised to exercise his influence and make it a personal priority to secure funding for the EAA land purchase.
For this reason, Bullsugar.org fully endorses Senator Joe Negron for Florida Senate, District 32.