Treasure Coast Environmental and Outdoors Groups Line Up Behind Bill To Prioritize Public Health and Safety
Stuart, Fla. – Late last night, the Rivers Coalition voted to endorse U.S. Congressman Brian Mast’s Stop Harmful Discharges Act. They join a growing list of Treasure Coast environmental groups who are supporting the bill to prioritize public health and safety.
The Stop Harmful Discharges Act makes public health and safety, including prevention of toxic cyanobacteria and the integrity of the Herbert Hoover Dike, the primary project purpose for the management of Lake Okeechobee. The current authorized project purposes—including flood control, navigation, water supply, regional groundwater control and salinity control, enhancement of fish and wildlife, and recreation—have resulted in the lake being managed to the substantial detriment of the communities east and west of the lake, whose health and safety is routinely put at risk by toxic discharges.
The Stop Harmful Discharges Act will amend the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ project purposes to prioritize public health and safety on the Treasure Coast and throughout Florida. Under this new definition, the health and safety of communities east and west of the lake will be given equal priority to the rest of Florida for the first time.
The growing list of Treasure Coast groups supporting the bill include: The Rivers Coalition, Bullsugar.org, Florida Oceanographic Society, Martin County Conservation Alliance, Florida Sportsman, Stuart Fly Rodders, Stuart Rod & Reel and MCAC Artificial Reef Fund.
“The fishing community of the Treasure Coast stands behind Brian Mast and his efforts to end toxic discharges into the St. Lucie estuary. It’s clear that something has needed to be done for decades, but sufficient political will wasn’t there. Brian Mast’s legislation, The Stop Harmful Discharges Act, could be exactly what’s been needed. We support and will encourage others to support the bill,” Stuart Fly Rodders, Stuart Rod & Reel and MCAC Artificial Reef Fund said in a joint statement.