TC PALM: Health effects of breathing toxic algae in St. Lucie River is focus of Harbor Branch study

TC Palm: Written by Tyler Treadway. September 14, 2018.

If you've been around blue-green algae blooms, chances are you've breathed in toxins.

Everyone tested so far in a study of people who live and work around algae blooms in the St. Lucie River had "detectable levels" of the toxin microcystin in their noses, said Adam Schaefer, a Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute epidemiologist.

"Preliminary results suggest microcystin is definitely airborne," Schaefer said Friday as people were giving blood, urine and nasal swab samples at the Florida Sportsman magazine office in Stuart.

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USA TODAY: EAA reservoir in WRDA bill to curb Lake O discharges OK'd by House; pending Senate vote

USA TODAY: Written by Ali Schmitz. September 13, 2018.

The U.S. House Thursday passed a bill authorizing the planned EAA reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee that aims to reduce polluted freshwater discharges from the lake.

The House passed the Water Resources Development Act, a wide-ranging bill that approves water infrastructure projects nationwide, and funds some of them.

“Fixing our water issues is, without a doubt, the most important priority for our community, and this bill is significant progress in our fight,” Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, said in a news statement. “People are getting sick, animals are dying and our environment is being demolished. We cannot wait any longer to get this bill signed into law.”

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WASHINGTON POST: Toxic red tide algae moves north near Tampa Bay, killing hundreds of thousands of fish

Washington Post: Written by Alex Horton. September 9, 2018.

The toxic algae bloom that has carved a trail of dead animals and triggered a putrid stench along western Florida's coastline has drifted further north, killing hundreds of thousands of fish in the Tampa Bay region.

The legions of dead fish were reported in a 20-mile stretch of coastline from Clearwater to St. Petersburg, environmental officials with Pinellas County told the Tampa Bay Times on Saturday.

County workers roamed beaches and trawled offshore to collect the fish carcasses to head off decomposition as some beachgoers turned back. Rotting fish and the strong odor of the algae has previously repelled locals and imperiled Florida's vital tourism sector for much of the summer.

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POLITICO: DeSantis pledges Everglades help, oil-drilling opposition in environmental plan

Politico: Written by Marc Caputo and Bruce Ritchie. 

TALLAHASSEE — Ron DeSantis became the state’s first Republican gubernatorial candidate to call out “Big Sugar” at a debate, and now he’s unveiling a broad environmental platform to continue Everglades restoration, study the causes of toxic red tide, fund land conservation, clean Florida springs and oppose offshore oil drilling.

The release of DeSantis’ plan marks his first major policy announcement since winning the Aug. 28 GOP primary — amid a $10 million onslaught from U.S. Sugar — and coincides with an optics-filled Wednesday airboat trip into the Everglades with "Alligator Ron" Bergeron, a colorful former state wildlife commissioner and construction contractor.

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NEWS PRESS: Algae, red tide provide our burning water moment

News Press: Rae Ann Wessel. September 7, 2018.

In 1969, a river caught on fire. The Cuyahoga River in Cleveland Ohio had finally had enough. Enough industrial pollution from decades of discharges that the river started burning. The pollution was tolerated and over looked as the cost of doing business.

But it got the attention of lawmakers and with public outcry sparked changes that addressed the causes.

You've heard the old adage if you don't learn from history you are doomed to repeat it?

Well, hello Florida residents, taxpayers, visitors and elected officials; the toxic algae and nearly yearlong red tide are poisoning our waters. It is Florida's burning water moment.

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FSU NEWS: What you need to know about Florida's Agriculture Commissioner election

FSU News: Written by Morgan Dobbins. September 9, 2018.

On August 28, Floridians all over the state cast votes for who they wanted to represent them on their party’s ballot this November.

While the governor and U.S. Senate races are getting the most press, one equally important position, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, also had interesting primary.

The Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services serves a four-year term with a limit of two consecutive terms. This cabinet-level position oversees Florida’s agriculture industry, which directly relates to environmental issues and consumer services, including concealed weapons permits.

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CREATIVE LOAFING: U.S. Sugar publishes inaccurate map of Florida waterways in newspaper ad, deflects responsibility for harmful discharges

Creative Loafing: Written by Cathy Salustri. September 8, 2018.

U.S. Sugar publishes inaccurate map of Florida waterways in newspaper ad, deflects responsibility for harmful discharges
Should we worry yet? Seems like it's past time to worry.

CATHY SALUSTRI SEP 8, 2018 2 PM 1 Tweet Share
Red Tide Big Sugar US Lake O
The misplaced waterways may be the least of the alarming things in this ad.
VIA JONO MILLER; AD PLACED IN 'SARASOTA HERALD TRIBUNE'
Is it possible Big Sugar is so desperate to paint itself in a good light it might have skipped a few steps with this two-page ad in Sarasota's Herald Tribune?

"If their nutrient management matches their cartography, we are in trouble," Jono Miller, an activist, natural historian, and environmental educator, posted on his Facebook page.

At first blush, the map may look OK — the Manatee and Little Manatee Rivers are in the right place, as are the Peace and Myakka Rivers. But see Myakkahatchee Creek?

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NEWS PRESS: Red tide causing dead zone conditions in Gulf of Mexico

News Press: Written by Chad Gillis. September 5, 2018.

A combination of rotting fish and algae blanketing the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico is creating a dead zone off Southwest Florida, two scientists say.

"Nothing is what we saw," said Florida Gulf Coast University researcher and professor Bob Wasno, who dived in the Gulf recently. "We went out to Edison reef, and everything was dead. For the hour-dive we did, we saw three snapper and three porkfish, and quite frankly they looked pretty lost."

Wasno said everything from sand dollars to sea urchins and coral are dead offshore.

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TC PALM: Small businesses affected by toxic algae to get federal aid

TC Palm: Written by Ali Schmitz. September 5, 2018.

The U.S. Small Business Administration will offer low-interest loans to small businesses affected by blue-green algae blooms, according to a news release from the SBA.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and private nonprofit organizations affected by toxic algal blooms in Martin and Lee counties. Businesses in nearby St. Lucie, Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Okeechobee and Palm Beach counties can also apply for the loans.

People can apply for the loans though the SBA’s website.

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NEWS PRESS: Everglades restoration: Water storage, political will key to success

News Press. Written by Casey Logan. February 3, 2018.

 Michael Grunwald, a journalist who works as a senior writer for Politico Magazine, gave the keynote speech Friday at the 27th annual Southwest Florida Water Resources Conference at Pelican Preserve in Fort Myers.

He is the author of “The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise.” He addressed what’s happening with the Everglades more than a decade after his book was published in 2006.

Grunwald, who spoke for 40 minutes, provided a few quick history lessons and personal anecdotes along the way, painting a picture of how politics has mostly gotten in the way of significant progress.

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