In 2019 - for just the third time in 12 years - our communities were spared toxic discharges from Lake Okeechobee by not managing Lake O artificially high before hurricane season. This was a huge victory for our communities, and it gives hope in our fight to clean up our waterways.

Unfortunately, it seems like we are taking one step forward and two steps back. In December, the Army Corps announced their plan to store additional water on Lake Okeechobee heading into the hurricane season. We know from history that this is a bad idea and flies in the face of every lesson we learned last year.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it: we need shared adversity. It is absolutely critical that we work together to ensure Lake O is not kept artificially high during the dry season to allow for greater flexibility during the months of heavy rainfall.

The good news is that this week the Army Corps testified before the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and - on record - stated that preventing toxic discharges from Lake Okeechobee is “definitely a stated mission” of the Army Corps. This is an incredibly significant statement that I look forward to holding the Army Corps accountable for in 2020.

Now is the time to build on the success of 2019 - not go back to the way things were. The health of our communities, our estuaries and our environment depend on it.

In case you missed it, here are a few other things that happened this week:

  • I spoke on the House floor and joined Fox & Friends to discuss my support of the President’s decision to take out terrorist Soleimani.
  • I announced a new volunteer opportunity to help veterans in our community share their story as a part of the Veterans History Project.
  • Your District 18 staff held satellite office hours across our community. You can find the more upcoming sessions here.