Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Environmental and Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bradley introduced Senate Bill 10 on January 26, 2017. Since the 2000 inception of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), there has been broad consensus that southern storage represents an essential component to address the two-pronged issue of alleviating discharges to the coasts and rehydrating the Everglades.
Championed by Senate President Joe Negron, the proposed bill is expected to provide 120 billion gallons of extra storage, addressing the needs for a dramatic increase of water moving south to the Everglades and Florida Bay and a dramatic decrease in discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries, by close to 50%.
The bill directs the South Florida Water Management District to seek out willing sellers of land within the Everglades Agricultural Area suitable for the construction of a southern reservoir. The "reservoir project" is one or two above ground reservoirs with a total water capacity of 360,000 acre-feet. If no willing seller is identified by the end of 2017, the bill calls for the District to acquire at least 60,000 acres of land by way of the 2010 contract signed by U.S. Sugar authorizing the sale of 153,000 acres. Continuing with the 50/50 state and federal partnership outlined in CERP, SB 10 permits the use of voter-approved Amendment 1 (2014) money to assist in covering the states’ commitment.
Everglades Restoration has a long history of frustrating obstacles but also passionate supporters who refuse to give up. SB 10 is the most promising evidence to date that our voices have been heard. It is proof that every story, every protest, and every homemade sign made an impact. Now is not the time to let the momentum drop. Contact your Senator today to let them know that you support SB 10! (Click here to contact your State Representative).