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Normally I agree with you wholeheartedly.
Yes, what you say is true but don't you think Big Sugar, ie Florida Crystals, et al - have a corporate responsibility not to ruin our natural ecosystems in South Florida?
Yes, we must elect different legislative represetatives and government leaders.
All of it takes time, and the influence peddling never takes a vacation, as you are aware.
I think it's a one sided story to say that because what they do is legal we must not blame the sugar cane industry.
We know the history of HOW the Clean Water Act became less stringent and how Florida was allowed less oversight, ( "Swamped, Jan. 2016 - The New Yorker).
On behalf of Big Sugar, Jeb Bush systematically dismantled the central provisions of Everglades Restoration that he assisted in getting passeda few years earlier in 2000.
Why would he do that ?
Possibly eyeing a Presidential bid? Wanting to secure the large donations from Big Sugar?
Unfortunately, it's all moot on that conjecture. But, we sure have some toxic water to show for it.

Pam O Dell

Two words: Corporate Responsibility.
The sugar industry has been given (too) much by Florida. We should continue to blame them. They are committing several egregious moral evils. Granted, the environmental community needs to re-group. But 'Big Sugar' should be socially shunned and their influence controlled because they are causing public and environmental harm.

I will paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr.
A law that does not reflect the moral law should not be a law at all.

James Shaw

Conning Floridians is nothing new for Bullsugar operations manager Kenneth Hinkle.  Hinkle has been sued several times for fraud, fined for endangering the environment, filed for bankruptcy, lost his home to foreclosure and he has recently been arrested for passing out in his vehicle while drunk driving.  He is clearly not the type of person Floridians would choose to lead the largest environmental project in the state.

Rob Kanter

This pollution will continue until we fix the plumbing coming into Lake Okeechobee - not put people out of business.  

Natalie Canto

I read this morning that the polluted water coming out of Lake Okeechobee and making its way here never even touched a sugar cane field.  Buy the Land is a political stunt.

Maury Lee

The water quality in the lake is terrible because of the years of high nutrient and bacteria runoff from cattle farms and citrus farms north of the lake. The problem has been exacerbated by the drought years when large water releases were not needed because of low water levels in Lake Okeechobee, which has allowed those runoffs to accumulate until years with more rain flushed out those built up nutrients and bacteria. Now they are being released into the Indian River and Caloosahatchee estuaries and the concentrations are exponentially higher

Brandie L

Amen! Sugar companies are not the issue!


Many thanks, Rick.

Rick Christie

Valuable perspective Brian.


Marie...sorry to disappoint you.


Mary Ellen: Thank you for the note. I couldn't agree more with your comments. Thankfully we have people like you to keep an eye on it all.....Brian

Mary Ellen Klas

One thought to add to your good insights, Brian: neither the sugar industry nor the environmentalists are elected, but why is it okay to allow those to whom we entrust the state's future to make short-sighted, often politically-expedient, one-sided decisions? Where is the long-term vision? The short-term pain? It is long past time that we demand difficult answers and long-term solutions from our elected officials and hold them accountable for following through. Once we are truly serious about that, the good people on both sides of this fight will follow. We owe it to our children.

Marie Reddy

Well, usually like your commentary. Not so much this one....

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