Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday that he talks to President Donald Trump about a lot of things, but is “not sure, to be honest” why Trump is scheduled to visit Lake Okeechobee Friday.
“I think it is to show recognition that we’ve had problems with the lake,” DeSantis said, adding that Trump may be announcing money to speed up repairs for the aging Herbert Hoover dike that encircles the huge lake.
Environmentalists say repairing the dike will benefit public safety during floods, but won’t do anything to help with the lake’s famous pollution problems.
DeSantis says he hopes Trump will commit more federal dollars to Everglades restoration.
Politicians have been throwing money at the pollution problems in the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee for decades, and the pollution flowing out of the lake continues to get worse.
Lake Okeechobee is polluted with sewage, manure and fertilizer runoff, the majority coming from industrial agricultural operations north of the lake and south of Orlando.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases water from the lake west through the Caloosahatchee River to the Gulf of Mexico and east through the St. Lucie River to the Atlantic Ocean. The polluted water accelerates toxic algae outbreaks, killing marine life, closing beaches, and chasing away tourists.
On Tuesday afternoon, the White House said Trump would visit the lake on Friday, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.