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‘Now or Neverglades’ tour stops on Sanibel

November 4, 2016
By ASHLEY GOODMAN - ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The Now or Neverglades bus made its way to Sanibel Wednesday to garner support for the construction of the proposed EAA Reservoir project. The reservoir will treat the water and send it south, thus reducing discharges that have caused the toxic blue-green algae that has appeared on both coasts, proponents say.

Before stopping at the Sanibel Chamber of Commerce, the bus made a pit-stop at Florida Gulf Coast University to collect signatures for their Now or Neverglades Declaration.

"The tour is to let people know that there is a plan that needs to be implemented. There are projects within the plan that are now 16 years old. The projects that are really going to make a difference in this community and to the businesses that reside in this community is to store and send the water south. This is not some new concept that was created, it's a plan that we all want to see implemented," said Eric Eikenberg, CEO of The Everglades Foundation. "We can't be the only voice of this. It has to be a whole diversity of people from all parts of Florida, all walks of life. We want to fix it. That's the goal of this, to build an army of supporters to end the chronic challenges of polluted water."

Article Photos

Eric Eikenberg, CEO of The Everglades Foundation, speaking on Sanibel as to the importance of the proposed EAA Reservoir project. The foundation is collecting signatures on a petition supporting the project at .


Sanibel Council Member Chauncey Goss came out to the chamber of commerce to show his full-fledged support of the petition.

"Now or Neverglades is a great idea because it takes what's in the Sanibel white papers and makes it not so daunting and easy for people to understand," Goss said.

Jason Maughan, a lawyer on Sanibel who also ran for District 27 of the Florida State Senate, made an appearance as well and endorses the petition along with Goss. He agrees that the water needs to be moved south.

"Anybody who is going to assist us in moving the water south of Lake Okeechobee instead of moving it down to this county, I'll support and help and certainly speak to. There's no way for us to work on us cleaning up any local pollution issues if they're going to dump stuff down on top of it. This county's lifeline, it's artery is the Caloosahatchee River. Until we stop outsiders polluting it, we're never going to have a solution to our own local pollution issues," Maughan said.

Eikenberg said that the tour has gone very well. Wednesday marked day eight of a 12-day bus tour. Before arriving in Sanibel and Fort Myers, the group stopped in 13 other cities across Florida. The last two stops were Ft. Lauderdale and the Keys.

"The enthusiasm that has come out of this bus tour has been extraordinary. This is an issue, this is a quality of life. This is a water supply for eight million people and they want it to be fixed. We have the money due to Amendment 1 so there's no need to worry about how we're going to pay for this. The beauty of it is when the state puts it's share in and Washington matches it. It's a 50/50 cost-share. As I said the other day, what we need now is guts to do it," Eikenberg said.

To sign the petition, go to .



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