FLORIDA SUGAR INDUSTRY GETTING ILLEGAL SWEET DEAL
DECEMBER 20, 2016
Lake Okeechobee’s (Lake) fertilizer-infused fresh water poisons the drinking water the Lake supplies, turns the ocean dark brown, spreads toxic slime to both coasts, and destroys property values, recreation, and tourism. This calamity is man-made, confirmed by the evidence and reported on below.
“The cane fields sit on 450,000 acres of reclaimed wetlands just below Lake Okeechobee in south-central Florida. The area is home to about 40,000 people and an economy based on farming. By contrast, some 6 million people live in the coastal zone affected by the algae – a region fueled by a great diversity of commercial activity, but especially tourism.
The economic boon of the smaller community has become the bane of the larger one. In future decades, rising temperatures and shifting rain patterns likely will worsen the plague of toxic algae.
This battle is seen by some as a test of the integrity of America’s political system, of just how freely the tools of political influence – campaign contributions, lobbying fees and the blandishments and acts of ingratiation that often come with them – can be leveraged to put the full benefit of nature’s bounty in a few hands while spreading the costs, including pollution and despoliation, across the rest of society. Because only a fraction of the sugar cane fields is being sought to solve the algae problem, some see it as a test of whether special interests can use these perfectly legal tools of modern American democracy to run roughshod over the broader public interest.
At the hub of the dispute is Lake Okeechobee – one of the nation’s largest lakes, the wellspring of the Everglades and the freshwater heart of South Florida.
For 6,000 years, excess groundwater has spilled over the southern rim of the lake, nourishing the Everglades before draining into the Florida Bay. To make way for the cane fields, engineers raised and fortified the lake’s southern shore, funneling all that excess groundwater through an array of canals, levees and pumping stations into two rivers that then dump it into the sea along Florida’s east and west coasts.
This cleared the way for the cane fields, but choked off water to the rest of the Everglades. It also infected the two rivers and South Florida’s coastlines with toxic algae.
Even more fearsome – it created a ticking time bomb in the form of a seeping dike that, should the right storm come along, could lay waste to everything and everybody in its path.” Toxic Lake: The Untold Story of Lake Okeechobee By Marcus Stern, Kait Parker, Spencer Wilking Published Dec 8 2016 12:51 PM EST weather.com.
It is well known that the creation of the Everglades Agricultural Area, where the sugar cane is grown, is the entire reason the water was diverted from Mother Nature’s natural course, and the main source of opposition to redirecting its natural flow today. This is resulting in the economic destruction of South Florida, inclusive of clean drinking water.