For Immediate Release: September 25—Stuart, Florida—Clean water advocacy Bullsugar.org today announced its endorsement of Rep. Brian Mast (R-Palm City) to represent Florida’s 18th District in the US House.
Mast earned Bullsugar.org’s support by establishing an effective record on clean water issues during his first term in congress, calling the nation’s attention to the harm to Florida’s estuaries, coastal waters, and the Everglades caused by federal and state water management policies. This year he introduced promising legislation, the Stop Harmful Discharges Act (H.R. 6700) to protect human health and safety from toxic blooms associated with water discharged from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie rivers.
Mast has also vocally supported passage of the 2018 Water Resources and Development Act authorizing the EAA reservoir–part of a long-term solution to Florida’s water crises–and voted for the Sugar Policy Modernization Act, to reform the hidden tax that funds sugarcane growers’ political influence over Florida’s water policies.
“This year Congressman Mast has done more to address the health threats to his constituents and damage caused by discharges than his predecessors accomplished in decades,” Bullsugar.org co-founder Chris Maroney said. “When we consider endorsements, actions speak louder than words and Mast’s legislation and tough interrogation of water managers has shown that just one Treasure Coast politician can shift the conversation to the only thing that matters in the short term–operational priorities. For his work to secure a clean water future for Florida, Bullsugar.org is proud to endorse Brian Mast for congress.”
Beyond legislation, Mast’s investigation of water management in Florida exposed inconsistent policies governing Lake Okeechobee and the discharges, including the US Army Corps’ practice of maximizing water volumes stored behind the Herbert Hoover Dike, which directly conflicts with the agency’s mandate to minimize flood risks to communities below the dike. Meanwhile the South Florida Water Management District confirmed that maximum lake levels are not necessary to meet the water needs of any stakeholders in South Florida. Mast’s inquiries confirmed that Florida’s current system of water management is not being operated in the public’s best interest, and contributed significantly to the toxic blooms and human health threats on both coasts, as well as the degradation of Florida Bay and the Everglades.
“Fixing the human health crisis caused by decades of abuse of our waterways must be our #1 top priority. Anything less simply won’t be enough to overcome the entrenched special interests that prioritize everybody else over the Treasure Coast,” Rep. Mast said. “Working together, we will keep fighting to make human health and safety the top priority for the management of Lake Okeechobee. I’m grateful for the support of Bullsugar.org as we continue defending our right to clean water.”
The complete list of Bullsugar.org endorsements and the Bullsugar.org Voter Guides will be published in early October. The guides will identify candidates in select races who have commited to clean water politics, regardless of party affiliation.
Peter Girard for Bullsugar.org
Brad Steward for Rep. Brian Mast
Bullsugar.org is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit dedicated to stopping the damaging discharges into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries and restoring the flow of clean freshwater to Florida Bay. Click here to read Bullsugar.org’s fact sheet on Rep. Brian Mast’s Stop Harmful Discharges Act.