Environment | National

Miccosukee Tribe vows to protect water quality of Everglades

Miccosukee Tribe Chairman Colley Billie speaks at the Big Sugar Summit on June 20, 2015. Photo by Stephen Malagodi / Twitter

The leader of the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida addressed the need to protect water quality in the Everglades at the Big Sugar Summit on Saturday.

The Everglades are the tribe's homelands. Chairman Colley Billie grew up there and remembers when the water wasn't contaminated by agricultural runoff and other development.

“When I was about 6-years-old, the water was clean,” Billie said at the summit, The Palm Beach Post reported. “Believe it or not, we used to drink directly from the Everglades.”

YouTube: Big Sugar Summit: Chairman Colley Billie, Miccosukee Tribe

Billie said the tribe won't accept a phosphorus limit lower than 10 parts per billion for water that flows into the Everglades. The issue has been the subject of litigation for more than a decade.

The tribe also opposes the raising of the Tamiami Trail, which runs through the reservation. The project will flood two villages and harm tribal businesses, Billie said.

The summit was hosted by the Sierra Club of Florida.

Get the Story:
Miccosukee Tribe chairman speaks out on Everglades water quality (The Palm Beach Post 6/22)

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