PBS Video: What’s Stopping Everglades from healing?

“What’s stopping the vulnerable Everglades from being healed?” PBS Newshour story includes video of toxic algal blooms in Stuart. Worth watching for interview with Michael Grunwald, author of “The Swamp.” However, the story doesn’t quite get the timing of the CERP EAA Reservoir project correct when the reporter says, “To prevent another toxic algae bloom, a group of state lawmakers is proposing the restoration timetable be sped up and that farmers give up their land, so a 60,000-acre reservoir can be built years ahead of the original CERP schedule.”

Truth be told, under the original CERP schedule a large-capacity storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee was one 10 projects to be fast-tracked. In 1999 the state purchased farmlands for it, and between 2006-2008, $272 million was spent to begin construction on 16,000 acres. The state halted construction in 2008 and recently converted the site to a shallow basin to help clean polluted runoff from farmlands south of the lake. Sen. Joe Negron and his supporters want to get the reservoir back on the fast track; the South Florida Water Management District wants to wait until 2021 before revitalizing the stalled project.

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