Algae Bad And Getting Worse

algae In: Algae Bad And Getting Worse | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

The following article is from the Palm Beach Post.  It is disheartening to note that the blog “My Water Daily” has four articles today, June 18, 2018, on toxic algae in Florida’s waters.  The other three  are:

Harmful algae bloom forces swimmers out of Albemarle County lake | Daily News Leader,

Residents protest toxic algae in Stuart | WPTV, and

Algae in St. Lucie coming from many sources | Okeechobee News

This is frustrating and unnecessary.  Our water managers should be held accountable, as should our legislators and our governor.  They know the solution, mostly septics and fertilizer, and they can stop it if they choose.  Big sugar is a big part, but our leaders take so much m0ney from them, from Florida to Washington, that they get their way. Corruption is the word.

Some of those accountable are now suggesting  that algae is the “norm,” and is a natural phenomenon, hoping the public will be stupid enough to believe that.  But we aren’t.

So Florida will now continue to lose money, our tourist industry, charter fishing boats, motels, restaurants, gas stations, etc. when people stay away.  Perhaps our money-hungry governor and legislators will take note of this, even while not caring about clean water and our natural resources.

Some of these people even now are successfully being sued.  These are people we MUST vote out of power, they are killing Florida, and are not fit to be our leaders, not in Florida, not in Washington and not anywhere.

You can help by exercising your right to vote.  Study carefully the candidate and do not pay attention to the talk, look at what the candidate has done, not said.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-


POINT OF VIEW: Army Corps should swim in our increasingly toxic water

Posted: 10:25 a.m. Sunday, June 17, 2018


The summer of 2018 is already looking a lot like the summer of 2016. I don’t need to remind anyone of the shuttered businesses, the “No Swimming” signs that littered our community or the regular occurrence of fish kills. It’s only June and already we’re experiencing the putrid stench of another lost summer.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently discharging nearly four billion gallons of water per day to the east and west of Lake Okeechobee without regard for toxins in the water or the health effects for every man, woman and child.

Our waterways, estuaries and beaches are the lifeblood of the area. Our economy is driven by visitors and locals alike — fishing, boating or having a meal at a waterfront restaurant. Our ecosystem is supposed to be home to numerous species now endangered, sensitive plant life and one of the most diverse cross sections of sea life — not to mention the hundreds of thousands of people. When you destroy our environment, you destroy us.

The bottom line is that we cannot afford to continue being used as the septic tank for Lake Okeechobee. The Army Corps should immediately stop discharges until they can prove that the water is safe.

Like the leaders at the Army Corps, I was an Army soldier. We have worn the same uniform. I have to believe that we share the common drive to protect life. But I would never sacrifice the health of an entire community in the name of what might happen sometime in the future. Our ethos as warriors says we never leave a fallen comrade behind, but the Army Corps is right now leaving our community to die.

If the Army Corps thinks this is hyperbole, then I’m extending an open invitation to their leadership to stand by their policy: come for a swim in our increasingly toxic water. If they feel the water is acceptable for our children to play in, for us to fish in and for our endangered animals to live in, then it should be good enough for them to swim in also.

As our fight continues, I’ve also worked in Congress to secure resources that we need to fix this crisis. Most importantly, we secured a commitment from water infrastructure leaders to authorize the EAA southern storage reservoir (from state Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart) once the Army Corps refers the final plan to Congress. My placeholder language for this reservoir was included in the Water Resources and Development Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month.

That bill also included resources to develop a massive water filtration system capable of removing toxic algae from the massive quantities of water discharged into our community, a re-evaluation of the Lake Okeechobee Regulations Schedule (LORS) to reduce the frequency of discharges, beach renourishment for our community and more.

These are all important new policies that will help fix this problem. But, I also know that we need immediate relief for the businesses who have to make a budget this summer, for the families whose children are heading off to day camp, for the fishers who are starting to find more dead fish than they’re catching alive and for everyone else that calls our community home.

For far too long, we’ve been ignored as toxic algae made people sick and our pristine waterways turned sludge green.

BRIAN MAST, PALM CITY

Editor’s note: Mast, a Republican, represents Florida’s 18th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.


4 Comments

  1. One of the four is from an algae bloom in Virginia. Of the other three, the only article that has holistically looks at the problem in the estuary is the Okeechobee News. The other sources (WPTV and Palm Beach Post) have repeated refused to address the entire problem as scientifically address by Dr. Brian Lapointe at Florida Atlantic University (Harbor Branch Oceanographic Research Center). His work can be found here (http://www.fau.edu/hboi/meh/hab.php) and here (https://hboihablab.weebly.com/). Hyperbole does not solve the difficult environmental issues before us, sound science is our best hope for a sustainable future.

  2. Remember in November to save our state before it’s too late. We don’t have leaders at the moment who care more about Florida than they do about the payments they receive from Big Sugar. Well when our entire economy is in the toilet, that Big Sugar money isn’t going to do much to insure their position in government.

  3. We all have difficulties with Big Business having our representatives in their back pockets: money talks. Hernando County’s commissioners have just approved that Cemex (a mining company) can go ahead and start mining a residential designated area across the street from a hospital. It’s over 700 acres which a few owners are willing to lease to Cemex for the next 20 years which will give way to a 70 foot pit. Wild life, including endangered species, will be pushed out. Water and air quality will be compromised if not forever altered. Our representatives are willing to change “residential” to “mining ” even though Cemex has never proving the need and even though there are thousands of designated mining acres in our county yet to be touched. People have signed petitions against it, they have spoken against it for years yet Cemex kept pushing for such and finally got what they wanted. Very sad indeed.

  4. It’s time you all call on the only man that can save, Jesus Christ. Appoint his leaders in office and you might save the Land. If you vote for me, i believe we can save the river. You need a righteous woman or man in place. If you’re interested email me.

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