The Army Corps’ discharges from Lake Okeechobee — which started again last week — are unacceptable. Our community cannot afford more devastation. We cannot afford a status quo that prioritizes everyone else’s interests over ours.

The good news is that we secured several big wins for our water as the House of Representatives passed the Water Resources and Development Act. Our successes included the passage of a placeholder to authorize the EAA southern storage reservoir (from Senator Joe Negron’s SB 10) as soon as the Army Corps completes its required review of the Post-Authorization Change Report. The bill also included my amendments to develop a massive water filtration system capable of removing harmful algal blooms from water discharged onto the Treasure Coast and an amendment to re-evaluate the Lake Okeechobee discharge schedule with the aim of reducing the frequency of discharges.

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Garret Graves have committed to replacing the placeholder language with an authorization of the EAA southern storage reservoir as soon as the Army Corps completes its required review of the Post-Authorization Change Report. Last week, the Army Corps sent a positive referral of the bill to the Office of Management and Budget, which now must review the proposal before it is sent to Congress to be authorized.

The bill also includes the St. Lucie Coastal Storm Risk Management Project, which I've been pushing for, to authorize a project in St. Lucie County to restore beaches that have been eroded by storms and establishes a maintenance plan to re-nourish the beach every two to five years.

Passage of this bill brings us one step closer to getting the southern storage reservoir built and includes other major wins that will help prevent toxic algae. No longer will Congress fail to act when the situation is so dire!

Watch for more on these important wins for our community: