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Tourism is bigger economic value to Florida

October 24, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

To the editor:

I noticed from the map by the Sugar Farmers - published in the Islander - that they claim 30 percent of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee is directed along the Caloosahatchee River and does not pass through their fields, and that most of the polluted water from the lake passes directly south through storm treatment areas the farmers have established. Then why does Gov. Rick Scott not declare the Caloosahatchee River a special value river and ban all forms of pollution from contaminating the river? Also, it's my understanding that the Stormwater Treatment Areas south of the lake are inadequate to purify the current contamination, and that another 15 should be established to purify all the lake-water when it is released so none needs to flow along the Caloosahatchee River. One way to pay for this would be to place a $1 tax on every 1-pound bag of sugar and spend the subsidy paid by taxpayers to the sugar farmers on establishing the extra Stormwater Treatment Areas. The subsidy paid to sugar farmers has been described as the most foolish waste of taxpayer money ever instituted by Congress. Like tobacco, sugar is a poison. I think it's time to do what's right and realize that tourism is a bigger economic value to Florida than bags of sugar we can obtain more cheaply from other areas of the United States and other countries like Brazil.

Derek Fell




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