Even though our tarnished and damaged St. Lucie estuary stands its best possible chance at recovery due to the planned state purchase U.S. Sugar lands for a flowway, residents are being peppered with advertising and phone calls aimed at killing the deal.
Orchestrated by U.S. Sugar's competitor, Florida Crystals (Fanjul family) is claiming that the River of Grass Acquisition is a "bailout" of cigar-smoking fat cats (TV images) and that everyone's real estate taxes will skyrocket.
The truth is that the purchase will be done under existing tax structures in the South Florida Water Management District and the result is expected to bring savings, not cost increases.
Meanwhile, the St. Lucie is being bombarded by nasty water that often exceeds a billion gallons per day, mostly discharged through Lake Okeechobee and then out the St. Lucie gates at Stuart. The U.S. Sugar purchase would provide land for a flowway south from the lake that would greatly reduce the inundations of the estuaries on both coasts.
Citizens are urged to read about the plan at the South Florida Water Management District website (sfwmd.gov) and at RiversCoalition.org.
And let's remember our sugar-coated politicians who fail to support the U.S. Sugar purchase. It's not likely that our beloved estuary will get another chance for recovery anything like the River of Grass purchase.
There's no Rivers Coalition meeting this month and we'll be providing updates.