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Sanibel officials to get Lake ‘O’ briefing in Washington DC

By Staff | Sep 27, 2013

Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane. PHOTO PROVIDED.

Congressman Trey Radel, R-Southwest Florida, has invited leaders from Sanibel to a congressional fly-in and briefing on Oct. 3 in Washington, D.C., to provide testimony regarding the economic and environmental impacts of the Lake Okeechobee freshwater releases.

The Sanibel delegation participating in the briefing includes Mayor Kevin Ruane, Vice Mayor Doug Congress and Natural Resources Director James Evans. The discussion will take place from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building and is being hosted by Radel and Congressman Patrick Murphy, D-Port St. Lucie, who represents the east coast areas impacted by the releases.

The meeting includes three panels to address federal, state and local issues, priorities and initiatives to address short and long-term relief efforts.

Mayor Ruane will testify regarding impacts to the local business community and tourism industry; the importance of passing the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) to provide federal funding for the C-43 West Basin Reservoir Project and other long-term solutions; and the need for the U.S. Army Corps and South Florida Water Management District to consider all short- and long-term storage options, including revisiting the LORS 2008 regulation schedule.

“We commend Congressmen Radel and Murphy for providing this forum,” said Ruane. “Our focus of this trip is to convince our federal government to appropriate the necessary funding to implement the long-planned but too often delayed implementation of the capital projects that will truly solve the issues related to Lake Okeechobee freshwater releases.”

The fly-in and briefing will be broadcast live on YouTube.

For more information, contact Sanibel City Hall at 472-3700.