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Water quality matters

February 13, 2017
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

To the editor:

I am writing my local paper to add my voice to an issue that has the potential to adversely affecour community for many years to come if not addressed now - the state of Lake Okeechobee, our Everglades and Florida Bay. We have wrestled with this for too many years already resulting in a great deal of harm to our way of life as Floridians. I am a native Floridian who grew up on both the coast and on a ranch near the Everglades, so I feel qualified to speak to this.

Our local community knows too well the negative impact of releasing polluted water from Lake Okeechobee to the east and west. Even those who do not live in the directly affected areas, such as visitors who cancelled travel plans last summer, as well as northern coastal communities who rely heavily on their water resources, know just how devastating losing our most precious resource can be on our economy and quality of life. It really is all about the water!

So much of our economy is dependent upon the quality of our state's waters, hotels, restaurants, and fishing tour/charter companies, just to name a few, all depend on visitors that come to experience and see the natural beauty of Florida. They financially support the Floridians who own and work in those businesses. We have attracted countless people who relocated here due to what only Florida can offer. The water quality and a vibrant environment are vital to the local economies that sustain Florida.

In order for Lake Okeechobee to have healthy water once again we must pursue the land for a much-needed EAA Reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee so that we can clean, store and send the water south where it is needed. Let's take action this time. Lawmakers have the chance to take this step during the 2017 Legislative Session by supporting SB 10, and I urge them to do so.

Valerie Tutor

Realtor, John R. Wood Properties



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