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Guest Commentary: Sanibel mayor issues water quality call to action

August 1, 2016
By Kevin Ruane , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

On July 19, the Sanibel City Council adopted Resolution 16-060 calling on the State of Florida and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to accelerate the planning and design process of a critical project, the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA), that when completed will provide additional storage south of Lake Okeechobee and reduce the high-volume freshwater discharges that have been so devastating to our community. Currently this high-impact project is not slated to begin until 2020. We are pleased to advise you that as of today the U.S. Army Corps has announced they are willing to expedite the planning of this project.

We cannot wait five years to begin the planning phase for the EAA. Now we must convince the State of Florida to accelerate the planning and design process for the "EAA Storage & ASR/Decomp Ph2" project in the 2015 Integrated Delivery Schedule from 2020 to 2016/2017.

WE ARE REQUESTING YOU ADD YOUR VOICE TO THIS CAUSE.

With one click with the on-line version of this letter on the city website, www.mysanibel.com , you can send emails to the Governor, the South Florida Water Management District Executive Director and Governing Board, Local Legislative Delegation, and the President of State Senate and House Speaker, urging our State officials and representatives accelerate the EAA planning from 2020 to 2016/2017 and to commence land acquisition and construction immediately upon completion of planning and design.

Let me assure you that protecting our coastal estuaries from high-volume freshwater discharges is our top priority at Sanibel City Hall. We truly appreciate your assistance in this endeavor.

On behalf of the citizens of Sanibel we also want to specifically thank Congressman Member Patrick E. Murphy, whose 18th District represents Martin, St. Lucie and northern Palm Beach counties, for his efforts to obtain this commitment from the U.S. Corps of Army.

Fact Box

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To send a letter to all elected officials with one click, visit the on-line version of this letter on the city of Sanibel website, www.mysanibel.com

Or simply cut and paste these addresses into your address line:

rick.scott@eog.myflorida.com; kpowers@sfwmd.gov; saccursio@sfwmd.gov; fbarber@sfwmd.gov; sbatchel@sfwmd.gov; charlow@sfwmd.gov; mhutchcraft@sfwmd.gov; jmoran@sfwmd.gov; mpeterson@sfwmd.gov; rick.scott@eog.myflorida.com; gardiner.andy.web@flsenate.gov; edward.metzger@myfloridahouse.gov; benacquisto.lizbeth.web@flsenate.gov; richter.garrett.web@flsenate.gov; charlotte.codie@myfloridahouse.gov; steve.crisafulli@myfloridahouse.gov;paige.leboutillier@myfloridahouse.gov;james.mullen@myfloridahouse.gov

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This accomplishment clearly illustrates how effective we can be when both coasts work towards a common goal in a bipartisan effort.

- Kevin Ruane is the mayor of Sanibel

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