FORT MYERS, Fla. -- People across Lee County gathered for a demonstration in front of Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto's office chanting for change just weeks before the primary election. This comes several weeks after Governor Rick Scott called Lee County into a state of emergency.
Lisa Doyle was one of many people calling for solutions to the problem. Doyle spent hours braving the heat this morning, voicing her concerns outside Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto's office. She tells Four In Your Corner her goal is for the chants of the group to get the attention of local leaders this election season.
"I've been living here now for 16 years and I have seen the water deteriorate," Doyle said. "I had guests that just left yesterday that were disgusted. It's toilet water in Fort Myers Beach."
Doyle says she wants local leaders like Benacquisto and candidates to take action with water quality being a dominant issue in the district 27 Florida Senate race.
"We're not going to just sit there and just listen so they can get re-elected for office," Doyle said. "We're holding people accountable."
John Heim with the Southwest Florida Clean Water movement says clean water has always been the number one issue in Southwest Florida.
"We find it very odd that all of a sudden these elected officials are now coming to the table and running on clean water," Heim said. "Obviously, because it's an election year. They don't care about clean water, what they are about is being re-elected."
Four In Your Corner reached out to Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto and challenger Jason Maughan to get their take on the demonstration and water issues. Senator Benacquisto sent FOX 4 the following statement:
"I appreciate the frustration and share the concerns being shared about our water quality. That is why I fought for Legacy Florida, which uses $200 million per year for 20 years of Amendment 1 funds and called on SFWMD to accelerate the planning process. I will continue to be a leading voice for Southwest Florida in this fight."
Jason Maughan's campaign sent the following statement to FOX 4:
The Jason Maughan Campaign says, "We are not surprised to see citizens' groups concerned about water quality protesting due to the pointed refusal of Senator Benacquisto to address the matter in a meaningful way. She has failed to sign the Now or Neverglades Declaration to protect this district or to insist on the purchase of land south of Lake O as required under the Amendment to the Florida Constitution, section 28, Article X passed TWO years ago. Jason Maughan as already signed the Declaration on July 1st, 2016."