NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION: Famed as the fishing capital of the world, this state is reeling as water crises threaten fish populations and local livelihoods

National Wildlife Federation: January 30, 2017. Written by Terry Gibson.

For most of the summer and early fall of 2016, Florida’s St. Lucie River was in the national news—for all the wrong reasons. Long prized as a legendary fishery and biologically rich estuary that flows into the Indian River Lagoon along the Atlantic coast, the St. Lucie was making headlines for being clogged with putrid, toxic algae so thick it resembled guacamole. And the St. Lucie wasn’t alone.

To the west, parts of the Caloosahatchee River also flowed green, sickened with algae. Its waters feed into Pine Island Sound, Florida’s second largest estuary and home to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge as well as some of the nation’s best sport fisheries for species such as tarpon, spotted seatrout and red drum.

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