Senator Nelson’s Decades of Failure on Lake Okeechobee

What Senator Nelson doesn’t want to admit is that he has spent decades doing the bare minimum to help communities surrounding Lake Okeechobee. Senator Nelson has been aware of algae issues in Florida’s waterways since at least 1974 and promised to fix the issue in campaign ads in 1990, but what has he actually done over the past four decades? (Spoiler: Nothing.)

(Bruce J. Kuehn, “Nelson, Biologists Probe St. Johns Problems,” The Orlando Sentinel, 11/13/74)

  • As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nelson did not introduce any Everglades-related legislation. (Library of Congress, Accessed 09/22/2018)
  • During his nearly two decades in the U.S. Senate, Nelson has failed to secure passage for twelve of his mere fourteen pieces of Everglades-related legislation. The only two that did pass were resolutions for lifetime achievement and anniversary celebrations – not real actions or solutions. (S.Res.265, Library of Congress, Passed the Senate 09/13/2011); (S.Res.392, Library of Congress, Passed the Senate 12/06/2007)
  • During Senator Nelson’s nearly 30 years in Congress, he has been the primary sponsor of only one piece of legislation concerning algae that became law – a federal research program that is about to expire. (S. 1254, Library Of Congress, Signed Into Law 6/30/14; Introduced 6/27/13)
  • In the last year, Senator Nelson has only been the primary sponsor of one Everglades-related piece of legislation, which still has zero cosponsors and has not moved forward at all since being introduced more than a year ago. (S. 1234, Library of Congress, Introduced 05/25/2017)

“Let’s be clear: If Senator Nelson had done his job in Washington, the water releases and the algae blooms they cause would no longer be an issue. For years, Governor Scott has called on the federal government – which Senator Nelson has been a part of for decades – to live up to their commitment to repair the federal Herbert Hoover Dike at Lake Okeechobee. With Senator Nelson, all Floridians get is more talk, more waiting and more algae.” – Lauren Schenone, Scott for Florida Press Secretary


Governor Rick Scott has been fighting for Lake Okeechobee since his first year in office and has secured the following results:

  • Governor Scott championed $100 million in state funding to jump start repairs to the federal Herbert Hoover Dike.
  • Governor Scott received a commitment from the president’s administration to speed up repairs to the Dike.
  • Governor Scott secured funding through the Army Corps of Engineers with a plan to complete Herbert Hoover Dike repairs by the Governor’s goal of 2022.
  • Governor Scott championed legislation to accelerate the EAA reservoir to store more water south of the lake.

 See the timeline of Governor Scott fighting for Lake Okeechobee despite the failures of Bill Nelson and the federal government HERE 


Debate Discussion