This morning, Congressman Patrick E. Murphy (FL-18) delivered on his promise to bring top federal officials to get a firsthand understanding of the problems facing local waterways, guiding United States Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy on an aerial tour of the region. This is the first time that Secretary Darcy, who heads the Army Corps of Engineers which maintains the Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee as well as oversees construction of the C-44 Indian River Lagoon project, has had an aerial tour of the St. Lucie Estuary system. Following the tour, Congressman Murphy and Secretary Darcy were greeted by local River Kidz before joining state and local officials to discuss ways in which all levels of government can work collaboratively to find real solutions to the problems facing the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.
"I thank Secretary Darcy for coming to the Treasure Coast to get a firsthand understanding of the issues facing our waterways as well as the need to move forward on real solutions including Phase 2 of the C-44 project, strengthening the Herbert Hoover Dike so Lake Okeechobee can safely retain more water, and finalizing the Chiefs report for the Central Everglades Planning Project focused on moving more water south of the lake," said Congressman Murphy. "Today shows that we are not forgetting about this issue simply because it is the dry season."
"It was great to see the projects from the air today with Congressman Murphy and discuss them with local electeds," said Secretary Darcy. "The public's support and enthusiasm was evident and I was so happy to meet and speak with the River Kidz."
"It was great to not only have the opportunity to show Secretary Darcy the importance of this issue but also to have our local officials join us to discuss the importance of working together to address this problem," said Congressman Murphy. "Furthermore, having the River Kidz there reminded all of us not only of the overwhelming community support for protecting our waterways, but the reason why we are fighting so hard for real solutions to this problem: to secure a better and brighter future for our children and grandchildren. I look forward to continuing to work with federal, state, and local officials as well as members of the community to improve the health of the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon."