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algae blooms

The Associated Press

Environmental activists and state environmental officials disagree about how regulations should be used to combat algae blooms in Florida's waterways. 

Algae forms on top of a body of water.
Wikimedia Commons

It’s 95 degrees. Sunscreen and sweat drips from your forehead. You do a cannonball into a lake to cool off and are greeted by a thick coat of blue-green algae.

This is the scenario Florida’s environmental specialists are trying to prevent by enacting fertilizer restrictions.

President Donald Trump has signed into law a bill expanding funding in response to toxic algae.

Officials in Florida say dolphins seem to be red tide's latest victims as more than 20 have washed up dead since last week along the state's southwest coast.

Brevard Gets A Break From Red Tide

Nov 14, 2018

Red tide appears to be clearing in Brevard County.

For now some residents on Florida's east coast are breathing easier.

Environmental groups and state water managers are sparring over land for an Everglades restoration project to help with Florida’s algae blooms, following a controversial vote last week by the governing board of the South Florida Water Management District.

Across Florida blooms of toxic algae are threatening beaches and waterways.

Now the algae stands to influence the state’s top political races.

A collaboration of marine researchers presented their research projects at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show Thursday, in hopes of finding funds and support among boaters with a stake in the state's waterways.  

The Sanibel and Captiva Chamber of Commerce reports businesses on the two islands lost $19 million in just July and August. Thursday, US Senator Bill Nelson met with business owners to talk about solutions. 

Governor Rick Scott is directing an additional $3 million dollars to fight red tide in five of Florida’s most-affected counties. That brings grant funding to fight algae to a total of $9 million.

Florida wildlife officials have changed fishing rules for snook and redfish in areas hit hard by a devastating red tide just ahead of the opening of the popular snook season.

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During a recent debate, Congressman Ron DeSantis and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam took opposite sides of the claim that leaky septic tanks are contributing to the algae polluting Lake Okeechobee and the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts. 

Last week, Governor Rick Scott declared a State of Emergency due to red tide, which activated the “Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program.” It's a short-term, interest-free loan intended to help small businesses impacted by red tide and the Lake Okeechobee algal bloom, but they may come due before the red tide is even gone.

WLRN

The race for governor is not the only statewide political contest during primary season. Republicans and Democrats will also choose their favorite candidate to run for the state's top consumer watchdog: the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.


The five democratic candidates for governor are largely in agreement on what to do about Florida’s algae bloom crisis: redirect freshwater releases from lake O south through the Everglades to a reservoir, which is yet to be constructed, address the sources of nutrient pollution flowing into the lake, and eliminate the political influence of Florida’s sugar industry which has been linked to that nutrient pollution.

State Waives Rules To Help Red Tide Cleanup

Aug 8, 2018

Cleanup rules are being waived for the removal of dead fish from areas of red tide in Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. 

State Grants To Help With Algae Blooms

Jul 24, 2018

A $3 million grant program for local governments to clean toxic algae blooms in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries has been started by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Gov. Rick Scott’s office Monday announced the grant program, which follows his July 9 executive order declaring a state of emergency for Glades, Hendry, Lee, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties because of algae outbreaks.

WQCS

Leaking septic tanks may be causing prolonged algae blooms like the one currently killing fish and wildlife near Lake Okeechobee.