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SFWMD board chair speaks to Lions Club

By Staff | May 1, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED South Florida Water Management District Governing Board Chair Chauncey Goss speaks to the Sanibel-Captiva Lions Club at its April 17 meeting.

Sanibel resident and South Florida Water Management District Governing Board Chair Chauncey Goss was the guest speaker at the Sanibel-Captiva Lions Club’s dinner meeting on April 17.

He discussed the history of the district, where it is going and the direction of its new board.

Headquartered in West Palm Beach, the SFWMD is the oldest and largest of the state’s five water management districts, serving 41 percent of Florida’s population – 8.1 million people. It has 1,500 staff members and operates on an $800 million budget, of which $277 million is from ad valorem (property) tax from within its 16-county jurisdiction.

While flood control is the primary responsibility of the district, it has become a challenge in recent years due to rapid population growth.

“We do a really good job with flood control, especially in Collier County where flooding is a bigger issue than (on Sanibel and Captiva),” Goss said.

He reported that Florida relies on tourism to drive its economy, which means it is dependent on the environment, making water quality issues more than an environmental problem, but an economic and even a health crisis.

“Our water projects are very important to us,” Goss said as he briefly discussed the EAA and C43 reservoir projects, as well as the expensive Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.

“Everglades restoration is the largest environmental restoration project in the nation’s history,” he said. “It is one of our key initiatives.”

For more information about the SFWMD, visit www.sfwmd.gov.

The Lions will hold its annual meeting today, May 1, at the Sundial Beach Resort and Spa on Sanibel and return to its regular dinner meeting on May 15 at The Community House on Sanibel.

For more information or to become a member, visit sanibelcaptivalions.org.