Minutes

Water Resources Advisory Commission

Monthly Meeting

June 01, 2017, 10:00 AM

Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center

151 Civic Center Way

Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411

 

Attendee Name

Title

Status

Arrived

Douglas Yoder

Alternate for Charles LaPradd

Absent

 

Samantha Whitcraft

Alternate for John Lamkin

Absent

 

D. Albrey Arrington

Utility

Absent

 

Jeff Ward

Alternate for Barbara Miedema

Absent

 

Douglas Bournique

Agriculture

Absent

 

Bob Ulevich

Alternate for Doug Bournique

Present

 

Kim Taplin

Alternate for LTC Jennifer Reynolds

Present

 

Harry Cronin

Alternate for Jim Reynolds

Absent

 

Jeff Schmidt

Federal Government

Absent

 

Gene Duncan

Miccosukee Tribe

Present

 

Jim Reynolds

Utility

Present

 

Kurt Harclerode

Alternate for Pam Keyes

Present

 

James Humble

Agriculture

Present

 

William "Chad" Kennedy

FDEP

Present

 

John T. Lamkin

NOAA / Federa

Absent

 

Joan Lawrence

US DOI / Federal

Absent

 

Barbara Miedema

Agriculture

Present

 

Linda McCarthy

Alternate for Bubba Wade

Present

 

Newton Cook

Public Interest

Present

 

Mary Ann Martin

Public Interest

Absent

 

Brian L. Wheeler

Utility

Present

 

Joe Capra

Business

Absent

 

Bud Howard

Alternate for Albrey Arrington

Absent

 

Michael Collins

Public Interest

Present

 

Mark Dombroski

Alternate for Newton Cook

Absent

 

Medora Krome

Alternate for James Humble

Absent

 

James Erskine

State Government

Present

 

Dennis Duke

Alternate for Joan Lawrence

Present

 

John Lesman

Business

Present

 

Ashley Tripp

Alternate for Mary Ann Martin

Present

 

Maelo Reyes

Alternate for Jeff Schmidt

Absent

 

Malcolm "Bubba" Wade

Agriculture

Present

 

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch

Alternate for Joe Capra

Present

 

Beth Lewis

Environmental

Present

 

Neale Montgomery

Business

Absent

 

Harry Raucher

Utility

Absent

 

Pat Martin

Alternate for Harry Raucher

Absent

 

Joshua Kellam

Business

Absent

 

Erin Deady

Environmental

Present

 

Adam Gelber

Public Interest

Absent

 

Jason Liechty

Alternate for Jennifer Jurado

Present

 

Mike Sweeney

Alternate for Brian Wheeler

Absent

 

Pam Keyes

Alternate for Kurt Harclerode

Absent

 

W. Scott Ray

FDACS / Statewide

Present

 

Karson Turner

Local Government

Absent

 

Shannon Estenoz

US DOI / Federal

Absent

 

Cheryl Grieb

Local Government

Present

 

Steve Lynch

Environmental

Absent

 

Justin Koenig

Business

Absent

 

Cicero Osceola

Seminole Tribe

Absent

 

Jennifer Jurado

Environmental

Present

 

Mikhael "Mike" Elfenbein

Public Interest

Present

 

Terry Torrens

Alternate for Cheryl Grieb

Present

 

Nyla Pipes

Environmental

Present

 

Richard Lewis

Public Interest

Present

 

Rebecca Elliott

Alternate for W. Ray Scott

Present

 

Charles LaPradd

Agriculture

Present

 

Mark Generales

Business

Present

 

LTC Jennifer Reynolds

Federal Government

Present

 

James J. Moran

Chairman

Present

 

Kevin Powers

Vice-Chairman

Present

 

 

 

2.              Call to Order - James J. Moran, WRAC Chairman

Mr. Moran called the meeting to order at 10:02 a.m.  He thanked the Village of Royal Palm Beach for hosting the meeting and welcomed Vice Chair, Kevin Powers to the meeting.

 

3.              WRAC Member Issues

Kurt Harclerode, Lee County Utilities, stated Lee County is looking forward to the outcome of the Governor's budget.  He said he is pleased with the allocation that CERP received and what it could mean for the continuation of the C-43 project.  Mr. Harclerode mentioned the on-going issue of algae blooms in the river during the dry season and stated that getting the reservoir constructed and having low but continuos flows is critical to his area.

 

James Erskine, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, announced Mike (Michael) Sole as the Governor appointed new Commissioner of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

 

Commissioner Cheryl Grieb, Osceola County, stated she attended the National Association of Realtors conference in Washington, D.C. and thanked Stacey Brown, Deputy Chief, South Atlantic Division's Regional Integration Team of the USACE for taking time to meet with her on a couple of different issues. 

 

Dr. Jennifer Jurado, Broward County Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department, stated she wanted to acknowledge that the recommended budget moving forward for the Governor's consideration included $30 million dollars of financial support for the C-51 project.  Ms. Jurado said she is grateful and hopes that this financial support will make it through the budget during the Governor's review.

 

Dennis Duke, alternate for Joan Lawrence, introduced himself and stated he was attending in Shannon Estenoz's place to address any questions regarding the Department of Interior (DOI) or Everglades National Park.

 

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, alternate for Joe Capra, stated she was happy to be attending the meeting and that Martin County is looking forward to the future.

 

Mark Generales, Southern Trust Financial, mentioned Mr. Harclerode's earlier comments pertaining to the C-43 and requested that Mr. Antonacci speak to the financial priorities of finishing this project.  Mr. Antonacci replied that $94 million dollars was appropriated for the C-43 project.

 

Newton Cook, United Waterfowlers, announced that the next WRAC Recreational Meeting would be held on June 12th at 5 p.m. at District headquarters.  Mr. Cook thanked the Land Management staff, as well as other agencies, for going above and beyond their required duties in helping with opening District lands for public access.

 

Mike Collins, Florida Keys/Florida Bay, mentioned photographs he received from the Florida Marine Research Institute pertaining to the monitoring and expansion of the seagrass die-off in Florida Bay.  Mr. Collins requested a presentation for the August WRAC meeting.

 

Ashley Tripp, alternate for Mary Ann Martin, mentioned a meeting she attended with the local fishermen in Okeechobee.  Ms. Tripp stated that vegetation and sedimentation is a big concern and she requested an evaluation be done on the impacts and effectiveness of the current vegetation plan.  Joel Arrieta replied that a meeting had already taken place with FWC pertaining to these issues and that a 15-year permit had been obtained for scraping.  Mr. Arrieta mentioned mechanical harvesting as an option.  Discussion ensued between Mr. Arrieta and Ms. Tripp.

 

Barbara Miedema, Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative, spoke to the Water Conditions Report/Water Shortage Update and stated she was looking forward to hearing them both. 

 

Public Comment

None

 

4.              Water Shortage Update - Peter Kwiatkowski, Water Supply Bureau

Peter Kwiatkowski provided an update on Water Shortage Planning activities for the District.  Mr. Kwiatkowski highlighted the increased monitoring associated with the drier-than-normal dry season experienced throughout the District, identified areas with low water levels, the potential for future actions for Board consideration if near-term rainfall is insufficient, and the concern for the next dry season if there is a below-normal wet season.  WRAC Members and staff discussed lake levels, water supply needs, groundwater withdrawals, constraints and strategies moving forward.

 

WRAC Member Comment

Dr. Jennifer Jurado, Kurt Harclerode, Bob Ulevich (alternate for Douglas Bournique), Mike Elfenbein (The Foundation for Balanced Environmental Stewardship, LLC), Gene Duncan (Miccosukee Tribe)

Comments are recorded at:

 

Public Comment

Public Comment was provided by:

Mark Perry, Florida Oceanographic Society

Comments are recorded at:

 

5.              CERP Project Planning Updates - Matt Morrison and Jeremy McBryan, Office of Federal Policy & Coordination: a) Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project b) Western Everglades Restoration Project

Matt Morrison and Jeremy McBryan provided an update on two large joint District-U.S. Army Corps of Engineers planning efforts currently underway:  The Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project and the Western Everglades Restoration Project.  The study schedules were discussed along with project components that are being evaluated.  Discussion ensued when WRAC Members strongly expressed their objections to the elimination of deep injection wells from further consideration as part of the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project.

 

WRAC Member Comment

Kurt Harclerode, Mark Generales, Newton Cook, Mike Collins, Beth Lewis (The Nature Conservancy), Bubba Wade (U.S. Sugar Corporation), Barbara Miedema, Mike Elfenbein, Gene Duncan, Dennis Duke (alternate for Joan Lawrence), Commissioner Cheryl Grieb, Richard Lewis (Lewis Solutions, Inc.), Chad Kennedy (FDEP), James Erskine

Comments are recorded at:

 

Public Comment

Public comment was provided by:

Drew Martin, Sierra Club

Comments are recorded at:

 

6.              Lake Okeechobee Operations and Adaptive Protocols - Susan Gray, Applied Science and Calvin Neidrauer, Hydrology & Hydraulics Bureau

Susan Gray and Calvin Neidrauer gave a presentation on the Lake Okeechobee Operations and the Semi- Annual Adaptive Protocols.  The purpose of the semi-annual update is to review past conditions and identify opportunities for improving lake operations within the bounds of the Corps Regulation Schedule.  The presentation included a review of operations for the past six months, water and environmental conditions, and the outlook for the upcoming six months.  WRAC Members and staff discussed the water quality, water flow issues, dry conditions, salinity levels and the decline of seagrass in the estuaries. 

 

WRAC Member Comment

Mike Collins, Mike Elfenbein, Newton Cook, Dennis Duke, Bubba Wade, Mark Generales, Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, James Humble (Miami-Dade Agricultural Practices Advisory Board)

Comments are recorded at:

 

Public Comment

Public comment was provided by:

Drew Martin

Mark Perry

Comments are recorded at:

 

7.              Staff Reports

None

 

8.              General Public Comment

Public comment was provided by:

Drew Martin

Mark Perry

Comments are recorded at:

 

9.              Adjourn

Mr. Moran announced there would be no WRAC Meeting in July and that the next meeting would be held on August 3rd at District Headquarters.  Mr. Moran adjourned the meeting at 1:32 p.m.

 

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              Water Resources Advisory Commission Meeting Minutes of the South Florida Water Management District – June 1, 2017