ACOE falls short for the WRDA bill

Florida Coast and pier

The Army Corps of Engineers announced on Earth Day of all days that they would not be transmitting the recommendation for CEPP (Central Everglades Planning Project) to be included into the Water Resource Bill known as WRDA. This would have been the last hurdle to achieve funding for a number of projects that would help with Florida’s water infrastructure. It was already developed, hashed out, and merely waiting the legs of bureaucracy to move. As early as May 2013, many different interests voiced the need to move one piece of paper from one desk to another. This would be the formal recommendation by Chief to Congress to include the project in WRDA. ACOE of engineers local Commanding of Officer of the primary cause of problems the St. Lucie Locks had stated publically just a few days earlier that he would be supporting the inclusion of CEPP. The Congressmen and state politicians that had repeatedly inquired were assured that CEPP would be transmitted. For whatever reason, because the ACOE has not seen fit to provide an explanation as of yet, the transmittal did not and seemingly will not occur.

The power of purse strings providing arrogance combined with insulation that a bureaucratic arm of the Army enjoys has created modern tyranny in our state. There is no other way to describe the blatant disregard for the collective will of the people. I say collective will because it included several previously competing interests. It included every level of government in the State of Florida. It included voices from industry, agriculture, and environmental groups and it included a huge amount of individual citizens that directly through several efforts and campaigns asked for the transmittal of the recommendation. All requests to spend and manage our money previously allocated were ignored outright.

Despite many assurances to the contrary the ACOE has effectively guaranteed that water infrastructure, at least the Federal Government’s committed portion will be put on hold until the WRDA bill is reintroduced in 2, 5, or 7 years. This is the same people that inundate the estuaries every year because the infrastructure gives them no other alternative, or so they claim. This is the same Federal agency charged with managing and protecting water resources. This is the same Federal bureaucracy that uses something called the Water Transfer Rule to ignore the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act. Why are we relying on a bureaucratic branch of the military to preside over our sovereign state and its resources? For money? For flood control?

We can do better. We have to do better we can’t expect the Federal Government to protect us any longer. In truth they have been killing us slowly for 80 years. We must break away from our dependence on the federal dollars and support ourselves and manage our own water. It is ours, collectively as a state, the only thing giving the ACOE any power is our invitation to control floods. It’s time to revoke that invitation and its time to find a way to pay for our own improvements. One way that could be accomplished is through the plan. It’s time for you to step up and run your government or sit back and let it continue to run YOU!