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PURRE UPDATE - 7/10/2007

Publicized in: PURRE WATER COALITION UPDATE
Publication Date: July 10, 2007

Greetings to all of our PURRE membership. After a very busy winter and spring schedule, we are happy to give an optimistic progress report to you.

We are extremely happy to announce that we have hired a full time Executive Director for the PURRE Water Coalition. Kirk Woodbury came on board the beginning of June. He comes with an extensive productive management and leadership background in non-profit and business organizations. Kirk has a personal interest in water quality, as he lives on the Caloosahatchee River. We welcome Kirk and are already enjoying working with him.

PURRE continues to work hard at:

1. Education and Public Awareness with presentations throughout the county and state. As an example of a direct result of one of these presentations to a local Board of Realtors, we are pleased to announce that the State Board of Realtors in Florida has now taken the theme of water quality and our specific environmental and economic problem all the way to Washington D.C.

2. Pursuing the unification and communication of other organizations around the state. With the help of our lobby firm, Wexler/Walker, we are expediting our mission of forming an alliance with as many organizations as possible to become one, large strong voice across the state.

3. Meeting with all decision makers and lawmakers who can change policies to benefit our waterways and estuaries, as well as insure the safety of our economy. State Representative, Connie Mack; Florida Governor, Charlie Crist; Lt. Governor, Jeff Kottkamp; Colonel Paul Grosskruger of the Corps of Engineers; Chief Project Engineer for the Corps, Pete Milam; Michael Sole, Secretary of the DEP; Charles Dauray, South Florida Water Management District Governing Board member; and County Commissioners, are just a few of the people we communicate with regularly.

What are the many results of these efforts?

1. South Florida Water Management District is finally working on finding ways to filter the water that will flow into the C-43 storage reservoir on the Caloosahatchee River east of LaBelle.

2. The Corps of Engineers is about to release the REVISED Water Release Schedule from Lake Okeechobee with components to benefit the rivers and estuaries, as we have requested.

3. Also, as we have requested, the Corps of Engineers has partnered with the Water Management District to implement a test program for cleaning out the culverts and spillways on route US 41 in the southern Everglades to allow for the eventual water flow south.

4. The Corps of Engineers is also considering the widening of the existing flow canals through the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) to help move water south, as we have suggested, while they study the feasibility of constructing a permanent wide flow-way system to feed water to the northern Everglades.

5. The Corps of Engineers is looking into the integrity of the dike in an effort to raise the emergency status water level to a depth that will not force as much water to be released into the estuaries during crisis situations.

6. PURRE has asked for a plan to be in place for the clean up of Lake Okeechobee. Now that Lake Okeechobee is at an extremely low level, The Water Management District has finally started the mechanical clean- up of the muck on the bottom of the Lake. The mechanical removal with trucks on the ground is much safer for the estuary as cranes on barges dredging would suspend the muck from the lake bottom into the water column that would again find its way to the estuary.

We are pleased to see the results of our efforts in working with State and Federal Agencies. Considering that in December of 2005 the Water Management District and the Corps of Engineers would not even recognize that we had a major problem concerning the destruction of our waters and estuaries, we feel that our hard work at PURRE is definitely paying off.

In order to continue our efforts to protect the water of this beautiful state, we still need and appreciate your financial support.

Visit our website regularly at: purre.org

Sincerely,
Michael Valiquette
Chairman of the Board of PURRE

think about this...

"We must build a peace in South Florida - a peace between the people and their place, between the natural environment and man-made settlement, between the works of man and the life of mankind itself. "
~ Florida Gov. Reubin Askew ~