Clean water is worth fighting for. That’s why Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, supports Captains for Clean Water and the broader community effort to clean and restore Southwest Florida’s waters.
“This is where we work, where we play, and where we raise our children,” Bruce L. Scheiner said. “We all have an obligation to ensure the water, our most valuable resource, is restored and protected.”
P.J. Scheiner, a trial attorney for the firm, sits on the Captains for Clean Water Board of Directors. An avid diver, fisherman and outdoorsman, he has witnessed the devastating economic and environmental impacts of repeated, large-scale Lake Okeechobee discharges into the Caloosahatchee River estuary.
“Education, awareness and scientifically supported solutions are the keys to restoring our water and preserving our quality of life,” P.J. Scheiner said. “Together, we can fight special interests and misinformation to take the steps necessary to stop the harmful red tide and algae blooms in our waterways.”
The recent presidential signing of the Water Resources Development Act is an important first step, but more work remains to be done. The act green-lights the use of federal money for the $1.6 billion Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir, but it stops short of officially allocating the funding needed for the project, which would send water south of Lake Okeechobee.
It could be another year or two before the funding is formally appropriated, and nine or 10 years before the reservoir is built.
“We can’t afford to sit and wait,” P.J. Scheiner said. “The economic impact on our region is already in the billions. Our way of life is on the line.”
He and Captains for Clean Water are calling for additional efforts, including the acquisition of additional land for water storage and treatment north and south of Lake Okeechobee, changing the Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule, and funding Everglades restoration projects to remove barriers in the Everglades so water can flow south as it historically did.
Some proposed initiatives, such as “deep injection wells,” are scientifically specious, at best, and serve merely to distract from the water storage, treatment and conveyance solutions that are scientifically validated and universally understood to be necessary to solve the problem.
“It is more important than ever that the people of Southwest Florida have access to the information they need to understand the water crisis and how to fix it,” P.J. Scheiner said. “Luckily, the Captains for Clean Water website provides an easy-to-understand FAQ section so everyone can get informed, and an updated blog so everyone can stay informed.”
Visit captainsforcleanwater.org to see all the available resources and to join the Scheiners in the fight to preserve our water, now and for generations to come.