Gov. Rick Scott is questioning his Democratic opponent Bill Nelson’s recent interest in the algae bloom problem in Lake Okeechobee. The Scott campaign suggests it’s another example of Nelson’s inaction in office.
“Now families are facing the possibility of another summer of algal blooms and water releases… which could have been fixed if Bill Nelson had done his job,” the Scott campaign said in a release.
Nelson visited the Lake Okeechobee area Thursday morning where he met with local leaders to discuss the toxic algae blooms flowing from the lake into South Florida waterways..
In Ft. Myers now meeting with local leaders about the algae that’s plaguing the region’s waterways and what needs to be done to fix it. pic.twitter.com/88xtlOscdv
— Senator Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) July 5, 2018
A month ago, Nelson released a letter urging leaders of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to include the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reservoir project to this year’s Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). In a statement released by Nelson at the time, he said “the Army Corps of Engineers submitted a favorable report on the project to the Office of Management and Budget, moving it one step closer to being included in the broader water bill that will soon be considered in the Senate.”
“It couldn’t be more critical to residents, fishermen and business owners in South Florida who fear another ‘lost summer’ plagued by toxic algae blooms in their waterways,” Nelson said in the letter sent to the committee.
The Scott campaign has said the governor has stepped up on more than one occassion to secure state funding for Lake Okeechobee and accelerate the EAA reservoir project. It wants to know where Nelson has been on the issue before now.
“Twice in the past week, Nelson has expressed interest in speeding up the EAA reservoir and the federally operated Herbert Hoover Dike – both of which Nelson himself failed to fight for during his decades in Congress,” the campaign said in its release. Nelson served for 12 years in the U.S. House from 1979 to 1991, and 17 years in the Senate from 2001 to the present.
Nelson’s visit to the area will include a stop in Stuart Thursday afternoon where blue-green algae from Lake Okeechobee discharges pollutes the St. Lucie River. The St. Lucie runs through downtown Stuart.