Imagine Lake Okeechobee as a National Monument

Imagine Lake Okeechobee as a national monument. It's a new solution presented by one woman running for Congress in Florida... 

Could designating Lake O a national monument solve water releases?

Posted: Apr 06, 2016 12:14 AM EDT

By Andrea Hubbell, ReporterCONNECT  NBC-2


Imagine Lake Okeechobee as a national monument. It's a new solution presented by one woman running for Congress in Florida.

A strategy April Freeman says aims to go over the heads of Florida politicians or people who may have their hand in sugar land.

When she announced, advocates cheered.

"Buy the land, send it south," advocates chanted at Freeman.

"This problem is not science-based, the problem is political," said John Scott, a water-quality advocate.

Congressional candidate Freeman says she has been following the Okeechobee concerns for year.

"The poisonous water being released from the lake goes through the Caloosahatchee River back here is killing the protected wetlands," said Freeman.

Freeman told us she found out California was granted three new national monuments last year and thought Lake O could be a good option for the same ruling.

"I have come to the conclusion that makes perfect sense to designate Lake Okeechobee as a national monument through presidential executive order," Freeman said.

Agricultural engineer John Capece said it could work, but there would be other concerns which wouldn't be addressed.

"I don't expect things to change overnight," Capece said.

April Freeman says she's already started an online petition to make Lake Okeechobee a national monument.

In the next 60 days, she must get at least 100,000 signatures to ensure the president will hear her request.


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