Boaters demand changes to the environmental bill

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — A controversial water supply bill took center stage in a protest at the state Capitol on Thursday.

Senate Bill 2508 would provide water to agricultural users like sugar cane growers when they seek state funding for restoration efforts.

Concerns have been raised by many people, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, charter captains and fishermen across the state.

Boaters demanding changes to a proposed environmental legislation that would divert water to agricultural users and alter the flow of Lake Okeechobee, seen as key to the health of the Everglades.

Protesters said the bill jeopardizes the entire Everglades restoration effort.

They continued to say that the water would not be divided equally between people who need clean water, Everglades restoration efforts, and toxins leaking from Lake Okeechobee.

Capt. Tyler Kapela said the bill poses a serious threat to Florida’s economy.

We are the canaries in the coal mines, when the water is screwed up like it was because of the water from LAKE OKEECHOBEE and this bill. So we see it first, and then it ripples through the whole economy, the tourism industry, hotels, restaurants, etc. said Captain Tyler Kapela.

Before the Senate voted on the bill, lawmakers made changes to address those concerns.

Many protesters left saying they can deal with the outcome now that the worst of the worst has been removed.

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