This article exposes part our problem that we have in Florida regarding water. People recognize our red tide and green algae issues because they are visible and smelly. The slow death of our springs and rivers go unnoticed by many because they are less visible and the authorities lie and say things are fine because they are spending billions.
Added to that is the problem that we do not know who the environmentalists are. From the following article it seems that the “handful of state environmental leaders” are the FWC and Mote Marine, and maybe Tom Frazer. None of these is an environmentalist; FWC sprays poisons into our waters, Mote Marine is tied to polluters and downplays red tide as a “natural occurrence,” and Tom Frazer supports wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing water bills.
True environmentalists include groups such as Our Santa Fe River, Center for Biological Diversity, Florida Defenders of the Environment, Sierra Club, Florida Springs Institute, Florida Springs Council, and many others.
For the innocents, DeSantis, the Department of Environmental Protection and the water management districts are not trying to fix our waters; they are trying to keep their jobs without offending agriculture and industrial polluters such as Pilgrim’s Pride; to do this they spend billions trying to look good while applying aspirin to a dying water system and hoodwinking a lot of people.
Notice all the talk about funding and money in the article below. How has this funding stopped red tide and green algae?
Read the complete article here at Florida Politics.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum
‘This is not 2018’: Panelists praise Gov. DeSantis’ commitment to red tide research
Gov. Ron DeSantis met with a handful of state environmental leaders Thursday morning to discuss the latest developments in red tide research as the harmful algae bloom continues affecting Pinellas County beaches.
“I think it’s a great place to be,” DeSantis said about the state of red tide research. “This is not 2018. Hopefully, we don’t see that this time or anytime in the future.”
The Governor’s presence was met with praise from the panelists, who credited his leadership to the growing focus on addressing red tide in the state, including continued funding.
“Funding would rise and fall depending on whether we had events or not, so if we went a few years without a severe event, the funding would drop and our ability to respond and maintain this network of partners would be diminished,” said Gil McRae, Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) Research Institute. “So we want to thank you for your recognition that continued support is critical for keeping this network intact and responding the way we need to respond.”
Back in 2019, DeSantis signed into law SB 1552, which established the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative, a partnership between FWC and Mote Marine Laboratory to develop technologies and approaches to control and mitigate red tide and its impacts. The bill also provided a $3 million annual appropriation for the program for six years, for a total of $18 million in funding.
“Gil’s point was absolutely on target — the consistency of funding is critical and that’s why I think the Legislature with your leadership has helped us to have that consistent funding for six years,” said marine scientist Mike Crosby, CEO of Mote Marine. “We’re going to grow a whole new science-based industry here in the state that is going to be able to use this advanced technology to be deployed against many kinds of harmful algal blooms. So we’re very, very excited.”
McRae also credited the Governor’s move to reinstate the Red Tide Task Force in 2019 after being inactive for more than a decade. Since 2019, the state has dedicated more than $14.5 million to the Center for Red Tide Research at FWC.
“I’m excited. We obviously had to put capital behind getting funding and we’ve stuck to it, and even in a difficult budget year, last year, with COVID, we made sure that we were able to keep our priorities,” DeSantis said….
Pinellas County beaches from St. Pete Beach north to Honeymoon Island are currently showing various levels of red tide. Respiratory irritation has been reported at several beaches and fish kills have been present for at least two weeks, though no beaches have officially closed.
“The key is, red tide begins far off shore. It comes inland when the currents are ripe, and then it takes advantage of the nutrient load that are naturally occurring,” Crosby said. “Every year, you’re going to have red tide... But when you get that perfect storm, if you will, of conditions both physical, chemical and biological, then you get these blooms.”
The impact of the Piney Point leak briefly wedged its way into the discussion. Tom Frazer, dean of the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, said that while Piney Point likely did not cause the current bloom, it could have exacerbated it.
“I don’t think you can make a definitive cause and effect kind of a relationship at this point,” Frazer said. “But what I can say is that we all understand that increased nutrient delivery to our coastal waters can exacerbate these blooms, and kind of fuel them for some period of time. I’m pretty pleased with the effort on behalf of the state to reduce those nutrient inputs, moving forward.”