Former Lee commissioner says water quality solutions are up to the people

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Drone footage of algae in Cape Coral canal on July 25, 2018. Credit: WINK News

Can we search Southwest Florida’s past to find solutions to the current water quality crisis?

Former Lee County Commissioner Ray Judah says yes, and that leaders missed their chance to get ahead of the problem years ago.

“It was absolutely preventable, absolutely,” Judah said.

The community seeks answers about how blue-green algae and red tide are affecting our health, whether the toxins are airborne, and what can be done to improve our water.

And Judah says people need to wake up because it’s a problem that isn’t going away.

After spending 24 years serving on the Lee County Commission Board, Judah knows a lot about Southwest Florida, particularly about our water.

“The National Academy of Scientists, the University of Florida Water Institute have both recommended in their studies that we need additional land south of the lake,” he said.

But after years of fighting between our local, state and federal agencies, he says the recipe for a toxic soup is now coming to a boil.

“I tried for years to convey the message to the South Florida Water Management District that what we needed to do was to restore some semblance of the historic flow to the south,” he said.

Judah says it’s not too late and we all need to stay in the fight for better water.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport,” he said. “If you truly want to have clean air and clean water and public officials that represent the public interest instead of the special interest, the people that vote need to be informed.”

He says we are in the middle of a critical election season.

Judah says voters can make their voices heard at the polls as well as at city, county and state meetings.

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