NBC 2: Algae is stinking up neighborhoods in North Fort Myers

NBC 2: Written by Michael Raimondi. July 15, 2018.

Algae blooms in North Fort Myers are keeping some people inside to avoid the awful smell from the canals.

The blue-green algae are sitting right in residents' backyards and stinking up the neighborhood along Orange Grove Boulevard.

It is hard to breathe at times because the smell is so terrible in the neighborhood.

One mother said she doesn’t want her kids playing outside.

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TAMPA BAY NEWS: Anti-sugar candidate takes his fight to sugar’s doorstep

Tampa Bay News: Written by Adam C. Smith. July 15, 2018.

"Sugar corporations bear clear responsibility for the billions of gallons of toxic algae water pumping out of Lake Okeechobee and threatening public health," Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King said after campaigning in communities most hurt by algae blooms around Lake Okeechobee.

Then he moved on to the corporate headquarters of U.S.Sugar in Clewiston.

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TC PALM: What would Florida have looked like without Nat Reed? | Our view

TC Palm: Written by Treasure Coast Editorial Board. July 12, 2018.

On July 11, Florida lost a lion.

Eight days earlier, Nathaniel Pryor Reed, 84, fell while fishing in Canada and hit his head. The Hobe Sound resident spent a week in a coma before his family took him off life support. He died Wednesday, 11 days short of what would have been his 85th birthday.

It was an immense blow to the environmental causes Reed championed throughout his remarkable life, both as a private citizen and a government official.

Anyone who cares at all about Florida's fragile ecosystems owes Reed a debt of gratitude for his efforts to help protect them. After Reed died, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson proposed naming the planned reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee for Reed.

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LOCAL 10: Army corps resumes flushing water from Lake Okeechobee

Local 10 ABC News: Written by Associated Press. July 13, 2018. 

MIAMI - Goopy green water flowed Friday from both sides of Lake Okeechobee, carrying toxic algae toward Florida's coasts.

Col. Jason Kirk of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the pulsing water flows will simulate rainfall. By varying the flows, they hope to reduce environmental problems.

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PALM BEACH POST: White House approves massive reservoir to hold Lake O overflow

Palm Beach Post: Written by Kimberly Miller. July 12, 2018.

A massive reservoir to hold Lake Okeechobee overflow got White House approval this week, a key step for the fast-tracked plan to spare northern estuaries from extended assaults of harmful lake water.

The $1.4 billion project slated for state-owned land in western Palm Beach County is a partial answer to activists’ calls to “send the water south” and could alleviate the blue-green algae blooms plaguing the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.

An announcement late Tuesday by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget sends the plan to Congress for inclusion in its Water Resources Development Act, which is expected to be approved by year’s end.

“You couldn’t get any more compelling of an argument for the project than seeing this algae bloom,” said Daniel Andrews, executive director for the Fort Myers-based Captains for Clean Water. “We’ve been fighting hard for it.”

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WINK: ‘Time is of the essence’: green algae taking its toll on marine wildlife

WINK News: Written by Erica Brown. July 2, 2018.

A family of ducks was spotted swimming in the green, algae covered waters near downtown Fort Myers recently. It even turned some of their feathers green.

“It’s got to be bad for them. Eventually it will affect all nature,” said Fort Myers resident Wayne Roddenberry.

Roddenberry is a fisherman and says he’s already seen dozens of fish fall victim to the potentially toxic slime coating waterways in SWFL.

“There’s a lot of dead fish..more than I’ve ever seen,” he said.

And now, the algae isn’t just affecting humans, it’s also having a significant impact on other marine wildlife that call those waters home.

“It’s really sad. We’re animal lovers so it’s sad, it’s sad,” Roddenberry said.

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CBS NEWS: Toxic algae a slimy mess for Florida's Lake Okeechobee

CBS NEWS: Written by Manuel Bojorquez. July 6, 2018.

PORT MAYACA, Fla. -- Rain, heat and pollutants have caused an outbreak oftoxic algae blooms, which can cause health problems. Now, lawmakers in Florida want the governor to declare a state of emergency over an algae problem at Lake Okeechobee, the aquatic lifeblood of South Florida.

Chris Wittman said he's been fishing in southwest Florida his entire life, but the once postcard-perfect summer waters are becoming fouled by slimy and toxic green algae.

"It's not looking good for the future," Wittman said. "I mean, I've canceled my trips the last few weeks because of this issue. I'm not on the water as much as I once was."

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TC PALM: Brace for Toxic Tsunami when Lake Okeechobee discharges resume

TC Palm: Written by Ed Killer. July 6, 2018.

Note: Monday morning, Gov. Rick Scott issued a state of emergency for Lee and Martin counties after touring a section of the Caloosahatchee River.

Also, Marco Rubio asked the Trump administration to “re-evaluate” Lake Okeechobee discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers. 

In a letter sent to President Donald Trump on Sunday, July 8, Rubio asked Trump to urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to start considering the “impacts of harmful algal blooms and poor water quality” on downstream communities while they plan and conduct the discharges. 

By Sunday evening, the Corps decided to suspend flows from Lake Okeechobee

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HERALD TRIBUNE: As algae slimes waterways, Ron DeSantis open to new business regulations

Herald Tribune: Written by Zac Anderson. July 3, 2018.

With a massive algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee again threatening coastal estuaries, the question of how to clean up the lake water and prevent future ecological disasters is quickly becoming one of the big issues in the race for governor.

During a campaign event Monday in Fort Meyers, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis - who is seeking the GOP nomination for governor against agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam - accused his opponent of being beholden to the sugar industry.

South Florida sugar farms are blamed for contributing to fertilizer runoff in the lake that helps fuel the algae blooms. Fort Meyers sits along the Caloosahatchee River, which is receiving discharges of Lake Okeechobee water laden with the thick green algae. The issue was a big concern for some in the crowd of roughly 500 who came out to see DeSantis campaign with conservative media star Sean Hannity.

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WGCU: Toxic Algae Blooms, Red Tide, and the Need for a Permanent Solution

WGCU: Written by Mike Kiniry & Julie Glenn. July 2, 2018.

The Florida Department of Health in Lee County recently issued a health advisory for the Alva Boat Ramp, Davis Boat Ramp, and Franklin Locks after water sampling found the presence of Cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, which can cause gastrointestinal effects if swallowed. The large algae bloom was first reported in the area about two weeks ago, about two weeks after the first high volume releases of nutrient-rich freshwater began flowing out of Lake Okeechobee. The algae bloom continues moving west toward Fort Myers, and the estuaries. At the same time, a large red tide bloom persists off the coast, with numerous reports of dead fish and other marine wildlife. This kind of news has become an annual trend in southwest Florida, as water managers work to keep the water level in Lake Okeechobee at safe levels.

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