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Citizens’ needs and rights to clean water

By Staff | Jun 9, 2021

To the editor:

This week’s Guest Commentary in the Eagle expressed clearly the battle Southwest Floridians are facing to preserve our way of life. Red tide and a massive blue-green algae bloom are again threatening our marine life, our air quality and our economy.

The citizens’ needs and rights to clean water have been subjugated to the interests of corporations and special interests. We need to fight harder to make the health and well being of Florida citizens paramount through constitutional amendment.

The SWFL Clean Water Movement, Pine Island ROAR (Rise up-Organize-Advocate-Reform, a 500-member grassroots advocacy group), and concerned citizens and conservation groups are holding Clean Water Rallies on several bridges, including the Matanzas Bridge, in the region on July 3. The Matlacha Bridge rally begins at 9 a.m. and all concerned Pine Island residents are encouraged to show support.

The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), approved back in 2000, can be fully funded through the American Jobs Plan, the major infrastructure package currently being negotiated in Washington. This might be a once in a lifetime opportunity to save a national treasure and restore clean water throughout our area (see captainsforcleanwater.org). Once CERP projects are complete, the discharges from Lake Okeechobee into our rivers will be alleviated. This deserves bipartisan support.

We need to force action immediately. A lack of response from our state risks the collapse of our ecosystem. Southwest Florida should be nature’s paradise, not a toxic wasteland.

Susan McGuire