The Phoenix Flyer

Gov. DeSantis “not sure” why Trump is visiting Lake Okeechobee Friday

By: - March 28, 2019 11:39 am


Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday that he talks to President Donald Trump about a lot of things, but is “not sure, to be honest” why Trump is scheduled to visit Lake Okeechobee Friday.

“I think it is to show recognition that we’ve had problems with the lake,” DeSantis said, adding that Trump may be announcing money to speed up repairs for the aging Herbert Hoover dike that encircles the huge lake.

Environmentalists say repairing the dike will benefit public safety during floods, but won’t do anything to help with the lake’s famous pollution problems.

DeSantis says he hopes Trump will commit more federal dollars to Everglades restoration.

Politicians have been throwing money at the pollution problems in the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee for decades, and the pollution flowing out of the lake continues to get worse.

Lake Okeechobee is polluted with sewage, manure and fertilizer runoff, the majority coming from industrial agricultural operations north of the lake and south of Orlando.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases water from the lake west through the Caloosahatchee River to the Gulf of Mexico and east through the St. Lucie River to the Atlantic Ocean. The polluted water accelerates toxic algae outbreaks, killing marine life, closing beaches, and chasing away tourists.

On Tuesday afternoon, the White House said Trump would visit the lake on Friday, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

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Julie Hauserman
Julie Hauserman

Julie Hauserman has been writing about Florida for more than 30 years. She is a former Capitol bureau reporter for the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times, and reported for The Stuart News and the Tallahassee Democrat. She was a national commentator for National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Sunday and The Splendid Table . She has won many awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work is featured in several Florida anthologies, including The Wild Heart of Florida , The Book of the Everglades , and Between Two Rivers . Her new book is Drawn to The Deep, a University Press of Florida biography of Florida cave diver and National Geographic explorer Wes Skiles.