Water-Related News

Concerned captains make Tallahassee their first step

Advocates for better water quality are back in Southwest Florida on Wednesday after taking their concerns about the Lake Okeechobee water releases to state leaders in Tallahassee.

The Captains for Clean Water say the experience was a good first step, albeit a bit overwhelming.

Fishing charter captain Daniel Andrews was part of the group that headed to the state capital, and he learned that any remedies that are coming for the damages to the Southwest Florida coastline won't come quickly.

"It looks like a sand trap that somebody forgot to rake after a week of rain," said seasonal resident John Rine. "Honestly, it kinda makes me feel like wanting to sell and move either north our south."

The captains group met with Reps. Dane Eagle, Matt Caldwell and Heather Fitzenhagen.

"If we had cooperation from Tallahassee they could do this today," Andrews said. "We got a lot of politician answers, especially people that were in the leadership roles. There's a couple special interest groups that have a lot of lobbyists up there for that money to be used elsewhere."

The group left behind reading material for state lawmakers to peruse as they learn more about the challenges faced locally and how they might impact tourism and other factors.

Eagle said he'll continue to push for Everglades restoration projects that would lessen the burden of water releases to the Gulf coast. And Campbell said that, even with some disagreements over where money ought to be spent first, he commends the group for its commitment.

"We'll be back in Tallahassee we're not going to give them a break until we see some results," Andrews said.