David's Clean Water Plan

My wife Streeter and I used to start our days with a walk to the beach — it was one of our favorite things about living in Southwest Florida. But this past year, we haven’t been able to do so very often. As we get closer to the water, our throats get itchy, it’s harder to breathe and the beaches are full of dead and dying animals. 

As we Floridians know, the environment is the economy. We have squandered 20 years of tackling this problem, we don’t have another minute to waste. This isn’t our little secret anymore, its international news

Buy the Land

  • Start fixing the problem at its source – Lake Okeechobee
  • First step – buy the land south of the lake to restore the flow of water south, as nature intended
  • Secure the the federal funds needed to partner with the state to secure the land
  • Fufill the will of the voters who chose overwhelmingly to purchase the needed land
  • Clean the water in the incredibly polluted lake. After securing the route for the water, it needs to be treated before it is sent south

 

Take Care of Our People

  • Make families and businesses whole – I support tax credits to help people reclaim their lives
  • Help with health effects related to red tide and toxic algae
  • Stop the toxic discharges now
  • Bring federal disaster resources to Southwest Florida when blooms hit
  • Better management of the lake, which can alleviate the number of releases and the growth of the algal blooms
  • Upgrade the dike and reservoir systems to take the pressure off the dikes that hold the water back when the water level gets too high and threatens the safety of local communities
  • Send the water south, which lessens the threats of high water levels in Lake O and reduces the potential for harmful toxic algal blooms

 

Preserve the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee

  • Secure funding to complete the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP)
  • Encourage environmental friendly farming practices, discourage harmful fertilizers
  • Push regulators to update and enforce septic tank standards
  • Plant and protect dunes, mangroves and trees that keep the ecosystem in balance
  • Seriously curb development that isn’t in-line with Florida’s environment
  • Farm responsibly near Lake Okeechobee
  • Restore the water flow to the Everglades, preserving the “River of Grass” for generations

 

Make Government Work for Us

  • Re-authorization of HAB and Hypoxia and Control Act
  • Establish a clearinghouse of information on research and mitigation
  • Establish a Commission for Restoration of the Everglades
  • Work to fund the National Center for HAB Research at Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation
  • Work through the Estuary Caucus in the House to raise the issue to one of national interest
  • Track progress on construction and speak up
  • Keep a scorecard to grade all involved (Corps of engineers, the Governor, etc) for their progress addressing this issue and distribute to the public every quarter
  • Push government officials to enforce laws on books (CERP, septic tanks, etc.
  • Go back to real, regular monitoring of Lake Okeechobee
  • Let CDC research short and long-term health effects
  • Work with legislators from the Northwest, the Great Lakes, and across the country who are also impacted by harmful algal blooms
  • Push members of Congress to back funding for the completion of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP)

 

Get Back to Science

  • Accept Climate Change is real and needs to be stopped
  • Rejoin Paris Climate agreement
  • Work against sea level rise to protect Florida
  • Push for science and reason in decision making

 

The people of Southwest Florida are suffering. We lost the summer tourist season, hotels, restaurants and small businesses have taken a huge hit – now many of their employees are terrified, asking how are they going to make ends meet.

We have to clean up this mess. Starting day one – this will be my top priority.