Why put up with monitoring? We should demand a cure.

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algae on Hillsborough River In: Why put up with monitoring? We should demand a cure. | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River
Green algae covers the Hillsborough River. As little as 15 years ago there were no algae visible. Photo by Jim Tatum, 2020.

Why do the people of Florida put up with merely monitoring our ills?  We should be spending time and money on cleaning up the mess and hitting the sources.  FDEP knows the sources but is afraid to go there.  Florida’s water problems will continue until we face reality and decide we want to fix it.  The people are hoodwinked by our agencies.

How bad must the problem become before action is taken?  Already, more than  half the beaches on a given day are too polluted for safe swimming.   This is the new norm and our DEP could but won’t fix the problem.  We should not be patient with this, we should DEMAND clean water, as is our right.

Industry rules our leaders:   governor, Legislature, water agencies.

Education of the people is the answer.

Read the complete article here in Lake Okeechobee News.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
[email protected]
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum

FDEP continues to monitor algae

LAKE OKEECHOBEE — A single sample from Lake Okeechobee had trace levels of microcystin toxins last week, but the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation encourages everyone to avoid areas with visible alga blooms.

The FDEP continues to monitor Lake Okeechobee and area waterways for algae.

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration satellite imagery indicated bloom “potential” in approximately 25% of the lake over the past week.

On Aug. 10, South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) staff collected samples from Lake Okeechobee lakeside at the Port Mayaca Lock. The sample had no dominant algae and no cyanotoxins were detected. That same day, SFWMD also sampled lakeside at the Moore Haven Lock.

On Aug. 12, SFWMD staff collected a sample from Lake Okeechobee at the S-352 water control structure at Canal Point. The sample was dominated by Microcystis aeruginosa and a trace (0.28 ppb) level of total microcystins was detected.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers levels of microcystin of less than 8 parts per billion (8 ppb) to be safe for human recreational contact. This level was calculated based on the assumption that children ingest some water while swimming. The EPA considers level above 1 ppb to be unsafe for drinking water….



  1. The article speaks of activities that happen in the Lake Okeechobee basin over 30+ years ago. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers straightened the meandering Kissimmee River (much to the dismay of ranchers in the region) creating a straight shot for water to go from the booming area of Orlando south. Additionally, the best management practices that urbanites and farmers utilize now to control off-site movement of nutrients was not known back then.

    Lake Okeechobee is a classic legacy problem and pounding the current landowners in the basin that are trying to do the right thing does not ‘fix’ the problem. It DOES promote urbanization though (take a look at the Okahumpka area). Working together creates solutions in time. Placing blame exacerbates the problem.

  2. Can you imagine if we were still “monitoring” COVID? Cancer? Polio? We wouldn’t want to start working on a cure too early, would we?

  3. Loretta, actually, would that all Florida counties were as environmentally tuned as Alachua Co. The problem is with the State of Florida, from the governor and Legislature on down. Industry has them in its pocket and industry rules. When things get bad enough they may act. It may then be too late.

  4. Thank you, OSFR! this has been my mantra ever since the 1990s, when i saw that Alachua Co Env “Protection” was abandoning ship on this. Watching the “Titanic go down” is only entertaining once, if at all… enough is enough. Stop the pollutants from entering our waters, **at the source**!!

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