Letters to the Editor

Everglades rescue

Jeb Bush’s penchant for playing politics is understandable.

However, his gross distortion of Charlie Crist’s role on Everglades restoration is inexcusable in the Oct. 26 Other Views column, Charlie Crist stood in the way of Everglades restoration.

Bush’s own record on the Everglades was as murky as the polluted waters of Lake Okeechobee. By the end of his second term, he had redirected the state’s efforts on Everglades restoration to the Acceler8 water supply plan.

He also signed a bill that delayed clean-up of the sugar industry’s phosphorus pollution, the major culprit that’s killing the Everglades. Crist recognized the inadequacies of Bush’s Acceler8 plan, and replaced it with the historic agreement which gave the state the option to buy U.S. Sugar Corporation’s holdings in the Everglades — 187,000 acres.

It was the holy grail of Everglades restoration, giving water managers enough land to convey excess Lake Okeechobee water to treatment and storage areas, and then send the water to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay where it is desperately needed.

Crist pledges to complete the U.S. Sugar purchase if elected again as Florida’s governor, and I believe him.

Frank Jackalone, Florida staff director, Sierra Club, St. Petersburg