Glades and River Expert to Address Rivers Coalition:
FACING A NEW CROSSROADS
Citizens who are determined to see politicians and bureaucrats take true steps to restore the St. Lucie estuary won't want to miss hearing about what must be done from a long-experienced expert who pulls no punches.
With decades of dedicated work in the environmental trenches behind him, Joe Browder will address the Rivers Coalition at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, at Stuart City Hall. Concerned citizens: Be there.
"The Stuart and St. Lucie area faces a critical crossroads and what we do will have a decisive effect on the estuary and quality of life for years to come," said Browder, a principal in a Washington-based environmental thinktank firm.
"For too long we have allowed state and federal leaders to talk instead of act on some of the most important water management reforms," Browder said. "For Everglades scientists, a flowway south from Lake Okeechobee has been on the restoration must-do list for twenty years,"
"We are at a tipping point," Browder continued. "The vision of limitless billions for repairing south Florida's broken water management system was never real. Either Florida makes the flowway and other genuine Everglades restoration and water quality needs true priorities, even if that means making the sugar industry devote more of its own land to its own floodwater management, or we'll see toxic estuaries as the norm in south Florida."
He maintains that a storage-flowway to move excess water south from Lake Okeechobee instead of to the east and west coasts is "absolutely essential."
Existing plans for the Central Everglades Planning Project, including the local-interest C-44 canal reservoir, may be helpful, but only if done in concert with developing the flowway, according to Browder.
The flowway concept has been strongly recommended by many independent scientists for a half-century, but private interests manage to block it while virtually nothing is done to curtail harmful discharges to the estuaries, river advocates contend.
An insider with a remarkable memory, Browder will present important insights about the Everglades and estuary's alarming degradation.
As usual, the Rivers Coalition will have the light on for you, with free parking, no admission, and even coffee on deck. We'll see you at 6 p.m. Wednesday.