Throughout the past week, Florida has seen a national spotlight as the Florida Algae Crisis has seemed to worsen. This event is naturally occurring and has been going on since the 1800’s, but we have never seen impacts so severe.
The New York Times’ published an article earlier this week summarizing Florida’s deadly water crises. The article, while missing some of the more in-depth descriptions that are covered by local news sources, provides the entire country with a zoomed-out image of Florida’s water crises and the ensuing consequences.
Even with this enlarged and growing national spotlight, the problem persists. Florida’s politicians are seemingly incapable to correct this crisis, or they are content with their negligence. One thing is for sure: they are not doing enough. These toxic tides, either the red tide or the blue-green algal blooms, are killing unprecedented numbers of marine organisms and have even hospitalized humans.
The Root Problem: is the mismanagement of Lake Okeechobee. Discharges of the Lake’s polluted freshwater is causing and enlarging the effects of these toxic algal blooms. Without a comprehensive and collective restoration effort, these toxic and deadly events will become annual occurrences, continuing to destroy the south Florida fisheries that we enjoy and contribute to Florida’s multi-billion-dollar fishing and tourism industries. How many more marine species need to suffer from the negligence of Florida Politicians and sugar and other agriculture stakeholders.
What can we do: It is time to act. Contact your State’s Senators and/or Representatives and advocate for the health of this ecosystem. Captains for Clean Water make it easy, take 2 minutes to fill out this form to make your voice heard. Take Action Now
If you’re local in Florida, call your local politicians and press the issue. Also, you can submit comments to the Army Corps of Engineers electronically until August 20th: OkeechobeeWatershedRestoration@usace.army.mil.
Additionally, written comments can be mailed to: Dr. Gretchen Ehlinger, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District, P.O. Box 4970, Jacksonville, FL 32232-0019
Thanks for your help!