DANIEL PETERSON: KEEPING ON TRACK TO SOLVE THE EVERGLADES RIDDLEviaFlorida Politics– Trouble in South Florida in the Indian River Lagoon, and the estuary and coastline fed by the St. Lucie River, have many rightfully up in arms. The United States Army Corps of Engineers recently released billions of gallons of water from Lake Okeechobee to protect the integrity of the Herbert Hoover Dike around the lake. While the dike and the inhabitants to the south are safe from flooding, the lagoon, estuary, and coastline are paying the price by being lined with blue-green algae blooms … There are a lot of factors at play here, but one thing is for sure, anyone who thinks that there’s a one-piece-of-land-fixes-all solution to this has disregarded the facts. That’s a costly bandwagon to jump on both for Floridians and for the environment. It also disregards the hydrology of the system, where the vast majority of flow occurs to the north of the lake. These are trying times for Florida. That’s why it has never been more critical to ensure available funds are used wisely and in a way that will have a long-term and significant impact. To bring some objectivity and historical reference to this heated debate, The James Madison Institute published a backgrounder titled, “Solving the Everglades Riddle: Addressing Water Quality and Quantity to Restore a Florida Legacy.” Meant to provide policymakers and concerned Floridians with a comprehensive overview of the Everglades restoration process, the report describes the enormity and complexity of the Everglades by looking at its various regions and ecological challenges. Also described are various methods currently being used or considered to control vast amounts of water and improve its quality.