Hal Valeche, Republican candidate for Congress serving this district, officially endorses the flowway concept to move water south from Lake Okeechobee instead of east and west to the degraded estuaries.
Valeche presented his position in a paper provided to the Rivers Coalition. The Coalition requests written positions on the river issue from other candidates, including Republicans Gayle Harrell and Tom Rooney as well as incumbent Democrat Tim Mahoney.
Using a slogan of "Val-a-shay for Flowway," Valeche said a southern outlet such as Plan Six is vital to provide sheetflow to the Everglades, protect the estuaries from damaging discharges and stop immense losses of water to the oceans. His paper states:
"The damage done to the St. Lucie Estuary as a result of large fresh water releases from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie Canal can possibly be reversed, but only if we act promptly and decisively. Although many of the projects authorized in CERP and the IRL plan will be helpful once they are finally funded and accomplished, I think we must go beyond CERP to rescue this one-of-a-kind asset."
Creation of a south outlet also has attracted support from several candidates for other offices.
And State Rep. Will Snyder stated at last month's RC meeting that any speculated damages caused by water moved south would still be little compared to the problems caused in wet years when hundreds of billions of gallons of polluted and turbid fresh water drowns out estuarine life in the St. Lucie River.