A flow-way south of one kind or another is the only way the St Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries will survive. Lake Okeechobee is 730 square miles and it is necessary to take the lake down by three to four feet during rain event. No reservoir will do enough…
At Senator Joe Negron’s IRL Senate Hearing in August, I made a statement about eminent domain. If one listens carefully, I stated that there is an option to purchase the lands south of the lake, and if that is not enough to send water south, then “take” the rest.
This seems wise considering water is the “new oil” and many parts of our state do not have enough, and yet the ACOE is dumping 1.75 billions gallons of fresh water to tide a day, on average, through the the St Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries.
Any way one looks at it, the only long term solution for the St Lucie River and the Caloohasatchee, and for a thirsty and growing state, is a “flow way south.” And the only way to ever achieve this is through purchasing the sugar lands that are on the table today at an agreed price of $7400 per acre. Tomorrow will be too late.
The first rule of real estate is to “buy low and sell high.” Right now at $7400 an acre, the lands south of the lake could be purchased “low.” Just this year the land market is starting to go up. Time is of the essence. In the future, these lands will be too expensive to purchase.
It seems counter intuitive for the state to buy when it feels poor. But if the price is right there is no other option to achieve one’s goal. This is how investors make money or government entities achieve big item tickets like under grounding power lines or buying lands. Smart governments, governments serving their voters responsibly, think ahead.
So, 48,600 acres would cost the state $359,640,000. 153,000 acres would cost $1,132,200,000. An enormous sum, yes, but within the state’s reach with land prices still suffering from the Great Recession.
It is also good to keep in mind, that once this purchase is made into a flow way it achieves more than saving the estuaries. It will recharge the aquifer for millions of south Floridians; it will restore Everglades National Park; it will provide jobs to thousands of people; it will help create a future for tourism and for our children who are watching our every move.
Please tell the Governor that the purchase of the sugar lands south of the lake is an investment, not a waste. Write to Governor Scott at 400 S Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399; emails at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or call him at 850-488-7146. The option to buy at $7400 expires on October 12th. Time is of the essence…