Stuart, Fla. - U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today released the following statement after Commissioner Nikki Fried’s Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services endorsed a management plan for Lake Okeechobee that would increase discharges to the St. Lucie from Lake Okeechobee:
“Nikki Fried just announced her support for a management plan for Lake Okeechobee written by sugar lobbyists that would increase harmful discharges to the St. Lucie. There are 220 square miles of algae on Lake Okeechobee right now. Nikki Fried wants to send it into our backyard. She has betrayed Florida's east coast.”
On a Lake Okeechobee System Operation Manual (LOSOM) Project Delivery Team (PDT) meeting today, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services endorsed “Alternative BB” to manage Lake Okeechobee for the next decade. Rep. Mast previously exposed that this plan was written by lobbyists for the sugar industry. Alternative BB is the only plan under consideration that would increase discharges to the St. Lucie estuary. According to modeling data released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alternative BB would increase discharges to the St. Lucie by more than 20%.