In the past there have been good people on this body but they have worked to no avail as their work fizzled out in the Legislature. Task Force chair Tom Frazer did not bring to the front any of the go-to-the-source solutions which some members correctly suggested. The no-force Task group ended in a wimpy whimper when Frazer endorsed the gutless, toothless bill passed by polluters’ “boughten” lawmakers. See “Both DeSantis & Frazer a Waste of Time and Taxpayer Money.”
So faint hope glimmers here, as probably DeSantis and surely our industry-owned legislators will not allow this group to actually do anything about the problem. But the Task Force allows DeSantis to pretend to be doing something about our self-made problem.
However, we wish the best for Dr. Parsons and his group, who most surely have their work make harder by our sad political milieu. We do not question the abilities of the Task Force, just the fate of their recommendations.
And we will say again, our State of Florida needs to take those 15 millions mentioned below and start using them on the pollution points, not “different innovative technology projects.” Hope Dr. Parsons suggests that too.
Read the original article here in NBC-2.com.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum
Blue-Green Algae Task Force meets for first time since November
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Blue-Green Algae Task Force met Thursday for the first time since November to discuss innovative technologies being used around the state to combat the toxic blooms.
State officials showed the scientist-led task force several blue-green algae fighting projects that have been launched around the state already, many through the Department of Environmental Protection grant funding.
Although green streaks lined the surface of the Caloosahatchee by the Franklin Lock Thursday, BGA Task Force member and Florida Gulf Coast University scientist Dr. Mike Parsons said the algae situation has been better in southwest Florida than they feared this year so far.
“Everybody’s trying to prepare though, so if and when we do get larger blooms, what are some of the treatments we can do?” Parsons said. “[The innovative technologies] won’t 100% get rid of it, but if you can knock it back a lot, that’ll be very helpful.”
Those various technologies deployed across the state ranged from innovations like nano-bubble ozone technology in Jones Creek in Jupiter to a bioreactor designed to stop blue-green algae in Bonita Springs’ Imperial River; the technologies mainly mitigated blue-green algae as it gets worse, but doesn’t nip the problem in the bud, which scientists have said is the nutrients that feed it.
After the meeting concluded Thursday, Dr. Parsons sent this statement to NBC2:
Some people living along the Caloosahatchee who saw blue-green algae at its worst in 2018 said they were disappointed the BGA Task Force hadn’t met since November.
“I hope this task force will be much more proactive than waiting until it becomes a huge issue,” said Olga resident Len Alvarez.
Dr. Parsons attributed the lack of meetings largely to the pandemic.
“It’s been a slow year, year and a half,” he said. “I’d really like to see us pick it up again and really start moving the agenda forward, so I think we can do more for sure.”
The task force’s responsibility is to issue recommendations to the state about how to tackle the blue-green algae issue.
“It’ll be up to the state and the agencies to act on those recommendations,” said Parsons. “If there’s a change to the laws or the regulations, that’s gonna take more work.”
The DEP has awarded about $15 million in grants so far for different innovative technology projects. Grants are available for local government agencies, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations that want to evaluate and implement innovative technologies and short-term solutions to combat algal blooms and nutrient enrichment. The next deadline for grant applications closes next month.
NBC2 reached out to Lee County, the city of Cape Coral, and Florida Gulf Coast University to see if they’re applying for the grants, but officials did not confirm.