Governor Rick Scott announced that the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has activated the FloridaDisaster.biz Business Damage Assessment survey to gather information on how algal blooms caused by federal Lake Okeechobee water releases have impacted local business operations. The launch is directly related to the Governor’s announcement earlier this week of a multifaceted state approach to combat harmful algal blooms. The information that businesses provide will help DEO develop the best possible strategy to provide relief to business owners.
Governor Scott said, “As our state once again faces harmful algal blooms from federal water releases, it is important to understand the full impact that this situation is having on local businesses. That way, we can respond to help provide the resources they need to minimize any impact. We’ve been fighting for these communities for years, and we’ll never stop working until this problem is solved and Florida families no longer have to endure the harmful effects of these federal Lake Okeechobee discharges.”
Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of DEO, said, “DEO is committed to assisting businesses recover quickly after all disasters. We know the faster businesses recover, the quicker families and communities are able to return to normal. We want to encourage businesses affected by the algal blooms to complete the business damage assessment survey, so we can help get them back up and running.”
Earlier this week, following a tour of the Caloosahatchee River, Governor Scott issued an emergency order in Glades, Hendry, Lee, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie Counties to help combat algal blooms caused by Lake Okeechobee water discharges. More information on the emergency order can be found HERE. Yesterday, Governor Scott also announced that the White House Office of Management and Budget has approved the EAA reservoir project that will store more water south of Lake Okeechobee. More information can be found HERE.
The survey, managed by DEO, will assess businesses affected by the event and share the results with various state and local agencies to implement appropriate relief programs. The survey can be taken at FloridaDisaster.biz/BusinessDamageAssessments by selecting the “Lake Okeechobee Discharge/Algae Blooms” event. For additional assistance, please call 850-815-4925.