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State Rep. Crisafulli: Florida Needs Statewide Water Plan

January 3, 2014 | WMFE - State Rep. Steve Crisafulli says Florida needs a water plan. The Merritt Island Republican is proposing a comprehensive outlook as water likely will be a big issue in this spring's legislative session.

Crisafulli says his comments don't put him at odds with Sen. Joe Negron, whose committee on the Indian River Lagoon and Lake Okeechobee has proposed millions of dollars in water projects.

He says Florida's water problems stretch beyond the state's midsection, from the Everglades to the Panhandle, where the state has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on a dispute with Georgia and Alabama.

"We have a big state here with vast issues with regard to water, and we need to look at all of them. I don't think focusing on one part of our state is the answer."

Heavy rain this past summer forced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release polluted water from Lake Okeechobee into coastal estuaries. That led to problems in the Indian River Lagoon where large numbers of dolphins and manatees died.

Crisafulli says the state's springs and water supply also are at risk, jeopardizing important industries like tourism.

He says he'll work for compromise among environmentalists, development interests and agriculture. 


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