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We will die fighting in our feet, rather than living on our knees

Letter to the Editor

May 3, 2017
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

We will die fighting in our feet, rather than living on our knees

To the Editor:

The war over clean water in south Florida is finally receiving the attention it deserves.. For years, our elected officials tried to hide away the elephant in the room - the Lake Okeechobee discharges into the Caloosahachee River. Many of these politicians accept money from lobbyists from the sugar industry, thereby disabling support for legislative measures which would buy land south of Lake "O" and send clean water south through the Everglades.

The South Florida Water Management District is the state-operated water management group appointed by the governor of Florida. The SFWMD is in charge of waterways, both natural and man-made, and determines when and how much water is released, including the practice of 'backpumping', which had been practiced by the sugar industry. Because the SFWMD works in concert with the sugar industry to backpump, a government agency is complicit in releasing chemicals into Lake Okeechobee, and then releasing these waters down the Caloosahatchee river, the St. Lucie river, and the Indian River Lagoon.

We believe in clean water is a basic human right. The bottled water industries, many of whom tap their resources from our endangered springs and aquifers, do not share this view. They maintain that clean water is merely a commodity.

This mindset has sparked a war for clean water as a basic human right.

The war for clean water is REAL!

And it has to be this way. Or does it?

There is NO need for a war over clean water. Buy the land and send clean water south.

Tell the sugar industry, the SFWMD, and Governor Rick Scott that we the citizens of southwest Florida demand clean water as a basic human right NOW. And if our elected and appointed leaders will not muster the political gumption to clean Lake Okeechobee, our rivers, estuaries, and coastal waters, then The SWFL Clean Water Movement will protest on the locks in order to keep them closed from releases of dirty, chemical laced water into our communities. We would rather die on OUR feet, the live on our knees!

John G Heim

Co-founder of the SWFL Clean Water Movement



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