February and March are the prime times for tourists to come to Florida for a respite from cold winter weather. So imagine the panic that people who run fishing charters, paddle board concessions, beachfront hotels and restaurants are feeling as dark agricultural swill gushes from the state’s center to the east and west coasts, killing marine life. The scuzzy water that’s wrecking this year’s tourist season comes courtesy of Big Sugar and other agricultural operators around Lake Okeechobee. It’s America’s second biggest lake, and thanks to ridiculously permissive policies, it’s become a private dumping ground for mega-agricultural operations. These corporations pump the public’s water from the lake to irrigate their fields, then send the water; polluted with fertilizer and other farm chemicals, back into the lake.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.