Rick Scott pushes back on Bill Nelson’s algae claims
Army Corps of Engineers Col. Jason Kirk, shown speaking with Gov. Rick Scott.

Gov. Scott visits Herbert Hoover Dike on Lake Okeechobee

Gov. Rick Scott didn’t take too well to aspersions cast by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson at him from the Caloosahatchee River yesterday.

Rather than hearing from a federal official about how green algae blooms lay with state policy, Scott promises he will do something from Washington if voters send him there to replace the incumbent.

“Nelson himself acknowledged in Cape Coral that the problems surrounding Lake Okeechobee came from decades of mistakes,” reads a statement to Florida Politics from Scott’s Senate campaign, “but he had nothing to say about his own decades of inaction when asked why solutions were so slow.”

Scott, a Republican, is running against incumbent Democratic Sen. Nelson. The general election is Nov. 6.

On Friday, Nelson’s campaign hosted a roundtable about algae in North Fort Myers, joined by environmental and Cape Coral leaders — and with a distinctly partisan tone.

The Scott campaign pushed back, noting Nelson has been in Washington for decades, whether as a Senator for the past 17 years or before that as a congressman, while repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike lingered as a long-drawn-out federal project.

“When Bill Nelson repeatedly failed to step up, it was Governor Scott who secured state funding for Lake Okeechobee, supported legislation to accelerate the EAA reservoir, and now secured funding through the Army Corps of Engineers,” reads the statement from Scott.

Scott took umbrage at suggestions a law easing regulations on septic tank inspections played a more significant role in the algal blooms now impacting homeowners and businesses in South Florida.

“It’s absurd for Nelson to say that a bill that was overwhelmingly passed by the legislature only six years ago to save homeowners money is somehow responsible for a problem that has lasted for generations,” the statement reads. “Additionally, under Governor Scott’s leadership, Florida established the most comprehensive nutrient pollution standards in the nation and became the first state to adopt complete nutrient standards protecting all lakes, rivers, streams, springs and estuaries.

“Ultimately, Bill Nelson’s misleading attacks make it clear that with no accomplishments of his own after nearly half a century in office, he has no choice but to go negative.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Lou

    July 22, 2018 at 7:23 am

    Scott owns this algae nightmare

    • Tim Acosta

      July 23, 2018 at 12:40 am

      How so?

      • Lou

        July 23, 2018 at 9:06 am

        In his first week as governor he axed 40 year’s worth of regulations on development which was a gift to builders keen on bulldozing wetlands.

        He replaced scientists on the water boards and the DEP with builders, realtors, agriculture reps, attorneys and other toadies bent on more concrete and less wild lands.

        He let/is letting the purchase options on hundreds of thousands acres of land south of the lake lapse. Lands that could be used to recreate a southerly water flow to Florida bay.

        The list is long. Should you be curious google is your friend.

  • Paul Still

    July 22, 2018 at 8:13 am

    What Scott fails to note is that it is his DEP that has failed to develop Basin Management Action Plans (BMAP) that will reduce nutrient loads in our Outstanding Florida Springs to the point that the comprehensive nutrient pollution standards are met. I have submitted a Petition for an Administrative Hearing for DEP’s Santa Fe springs BMAP. I would urge others to look at the BMAPS for the springs where they live to do the same. Email me at [email protected] for details.

  • Michael

    July 23, 2018 at 1:39 am

    Scott chopped up DEP along with all the other State agencies, cut their pay, raised their retirement costs after they already gave up 3% just for this reason. All of this to look good on a paper budget, but off the backs of critical State agencies that are still suffering and the public has felt these repercussions dearly. Why is it shocking that DEP did little to nothing? Scott made sure their funds were bare bones and their staff – skeleton. He needs to GO.

  • Ginger Phillips

    July 23, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    The Hoover dike doesn’t need repair, the watershed problem needs to be repaired. The septic systems from up north and fertilizers have drained into the fragile ecosystem unchecked for way too long. Sugar has long plagued our state and the Everglades. Disney and the influx of people and construction has added to it. Many administrations have been a little too quick to accept money from Sugar including Mr Scott. Be careful who you vote for in August. You can go to each candidates page and see how much money they have accepted from Sugar and Disney.

  • Bailey

    July 24, 2018 at 10:43 am

    Scott and Nelson both have failed to do anything meaningful at all to stop this mess,,, they both take $$$ from sugar therefore nothing will change, Scott has had almost 8 years as Gov and Nelson has been in 40 years, what a swamp dweller. Ron DeSantis has never taken a dime from sugar and has a good rapport with our President, he may be our best choice for to fix this mess.

Comments are closed.


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