Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Press Advisory: Back for more on Thursday at SFWMD

Press Advisory
For Immediate Release: Contact Cris Costello, Sierra Club, 941-914-0421 (cell). Julia Hathaway, Sierra Club, West Palm Beach, 202-315-8211 (cell)

Back for more: 
Floridians will not stop until state water managers initiate US Sugar purchase

When: Thursday, April 14, 2015
Time:  9:30 a.m. 
Press conference at 12 Noon after results of  SFMWD decision on US Sugar.

Where: South Florida Water Management District Governing Board Headquarters Auditorium: 3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, Florida, 33406

What:  Residents turnout yet again to Buy Sugar Land NOW!

As a special budget session is planned for June, Florida Senator Joe Negron (R) said he is planning on introducing legislation asking for $500 million for land purchases, money that could buy U.S. Sugar lands.

Supporters of US Sugar purchase will once again convene at the West Palm Beach headquarters of the South Florida Water Management District to demand that Governor Rick Scott's appointed water managers purchase 48,600 acres of US Sugar land to restore the Everglades and protect the coasts from pollution. The state of Florida has an option to purchase the land by October, but water managers must take action now for the process to begin.

**VISUALS** Residents wearing stickers. Signs. Residents will drop Everglades quarters into a bucket representing the enormous value of the Everglades compared to the relatively small cost of buying the land.

Why: The South Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are dumping more about a half billion gallons of highly polluted fresh water a day into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers, polluting critical marine habitats and harming communities.  

Residents are incredulous that Governor Scott and his appointees will not consider the 48,600 acre purchase option in the US Sugar contract in spite of algal blooms and massive marine die offs that occurred in Indian River Lagoon in 2013 and are now threatening. According to the University of Florida, the land purchase must be considered to stop marine life die-offs.

As polluted water is dumped to the coasts, the Everglades subject of a multibillion restoration project, is starving for water. The solution, according to University of Florida scientists, is to pursue 48,600 acres of sugar land to store and clean the water.  Governing board members have largely ignored those pleas and appear intent to allow Big Sugar to walk out of a deal and let restoration evaporate forever.