Water woes: Florida Senate approves plan to stop toxic algae

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Following extensive debate, Florida senators have sent a bill to the House that creates a reservoir system south of Lake Okeechobee meant to stop toxic algae discharges from fouling coastal communities.

The Senate voted 36-3 on Wednesday in favor of the bill (SB 10) after nearly three hours of debate. The bill's passage comes a week after the proposal went through a major overhaul, which scales back the size of the project from 60,000 acres. The changes made the plan a more appealing one to its opponents in the agricultural and sugar industries, but they are not quite fully on board yet.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Rob Bradley, said the project has been a difficult "political and financial nut to crack" but is glad it has been amended enough to receive the Senate's backing.

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