April Freeman, Democratic candidate for Congress running in US House District 17 to replace Tom Rooney in the upcoming General Election this November, released this statement regarding the issues surrounding Lake Okeechobee and her permanent, common sense solution. 

I have been an environmental activist for years, and have been closely following the water release issues from Lake O, for as long as I can remember.

The releases flow through the Caloosahatchee River, that divides much of my future district and that of representative Clawson’s, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. But not before the toxic water releases cause irreparable damage to our estuaries, and to the federally protected wetlands and wildlife of J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

We are all aware, the largest obstacle surrounding Lake Okeechobee is the political heat surrounding the sugar land just south of the Lake.

Add that political heat to state legislators owned by lobbyists who plague the halls of Florida’s State Capitol, and we have disastrous, do nothing legislators in gridlock.

That is why; We need to take the politics of Lake O, OUT OF TALLAHASSEE, and AWAY FROM FLORIDA ALL TOGETHER!

This past February, The White House released a statement saying; 

President Barack Obama signed Executive Orders that designate three new National Monuments in the California Desert.

I have thought about that ACTION – AND ONLY AFTER much thought and research into that process, while also investigating ALL pros and cons. 


The federal government already owns and maintains the Herbert Hoover Dike that surrounds Lake Okeechobee, and the poisonous water being released from the lake through the Caloosahatchee River is killing the protected wetlands and wildlife of J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Therefore, I have come to the conclusion, it makes perfect sense to Designate Lake Okeechobee a National Monument through Presidential Executive Order!

I have already started that process, a process often used by community leaders to have their causes thrown to the front of the line for ACTION from Washington. A process that only requires a reasonable number of people in our nation support the Action!

I’m asking all of SW Florida to get involved.

It’s easy — you only need to sign an online petition and it is ready right now.

I have 60 days from today, to gather 100,000 online supporters in order for the President to respond to “our” request Designating Lake Okeechobee a National Monument

This ACTION that would expedite the cleanup,
and ensure appropriations for needed repairs and water quality projects.

At long last, providing a REAL SOLUTION so we can end the political gamesmanship, that surrounds Lake Okeechobee, and the resulting issues that plague our beautiful state.

It was important to call the community together today because, together we must do better, we can do better, and we will do better!

Working together is the only way we are going to make a REAL DIFFERENCE!!!

Please support the cause by adding your name to the petition today by clicking here.