NEWS PRESS: Florida algae crisis: Dead sea turtle count at 400; Lee County opens fish disposal sites

News Press: Written by Chad Gillis. August 1, 2018.

The number of dead manatees and sea turtles continues to climb as red tide strangles the life out of coastal Southwest Florida waters.

Bloom conditions started in November, and 400 stranded and dead sea turtles have been pulled from Lee, Collier, Charlotte and Sarasota county waters.

Lee County leads the way with 165 stranded and dead sea turtles. Collier accounted for 97 of those turtles.

A manatee that likely died due to red tide poisoning was retrieved from the Cape Coral Yacht Club on Tuesday while hundreds of residents and visitors were expressing their anger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at a meeting nearby.

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MIAMI HERALD: Dead fish, birds, manatees, even a whale shark. Toll from worst red tide in decade grows.

Miami Herald. Written by Jenny Staletovich. July 31, 2018.

Florida’s southwest coast, a ribbon of inlets and barrier islands normally brimming with wildlife, has become a red tide slaughterhouse this summer.

Dead fish by the thousands have clogged inlets and canals. Since Sunday, 10 dead Goliath grouper, the massive reef fish that can live four decades or more, have floated to the surface.

At least 90 sea turtles have been found stranded as the tide stretches well into nesting season. And Tuesday, as hundreds of residents packed a standing-room-only Cape Coral yacht club to hear about the federal government’s efforts to deal with water conditions, a dead manatee washed up at a nearby boat ramp.

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NEWS PRESS: Solving Southwest Florida's water woes will take hard decisions, political courage: your say

News Press: Written by Max Christian. July 28, 2018.

Our water, our homes, our livelihoods and our children have been put at risk over the last 60 years by South Florida Water Management, Big Sugar and, unwittingly, the Army Corps of Engineers.

The property owned by “big sugar” was simply part of the wetlands until it was drained. It is incredibly fertile “muck” created by the draining of 400,000 acres of swampland by Army Corps and now owned by the sugar industry.

The land is available, or was, at $4,500 per acre. Even the acquisition of the land would not resolve the threat of a dike breach at Lake Okeechobee but, if the land was returned to its original marshland state, there would be no reason for the “farming” community of Clewiston, which consists of about 35,000 residents, not to be relocated.

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ORLANDO SENTINEL: Florida's great green algae disaster - we asked for it ... us and Rick Scott

Orlando Sentinel: Written by Scott Maxwell. July 27, 2018.

Imagine for a moment that you see a guy slowly reaching toward a scalding hot stove.

Everyone around screams: “Don’t touch it! You’ll hurt yourself!”

But the guy pays them no mind and places his palm flush upon the bright orange burner, only to scream in surprise and agony as his flesh begins to char.

You’d think this man was pretty stupid, right?

Like sell-your-car-for-gas-money stupid.

Well, we are this man. This entire state.

For the past eight years, we stood by as the state decimated its environmental and water-protection agencies and repealed checks on sustainable growth.

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TC PALM: How 'wealthy coastal elites' and poorest are hurt by algae, contaminated fish

TC Palm: Written by Gil Smart. July 23, 2018.

And just like that, our blue-green algae crisis became a socioeconomic issue.

You see them on most local bridges — anglers who appear to be fishing less for sport than for sustenance. There's no way to know exactly how many local fishermen and women are fishing for food.

Given the link between toxic algae and serious neurological diseases, many of them might be at risk.

During a panel discussion hosted last week by the enviro-activist group Bullsugar, two of the nation's leading scientists researching the link between toxic algae and maladies such as ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and Alzheimer's said they would not eat fish harvested from waters where blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, is present.

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MIAMI HERALD: The next step is simple: Fund Everglades restoration

Miami Herald: Written by Don Jodrey. July 23, 2018.

Finally, on July 25, after 18 months of silence, the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force is scheduled to convene in Washington, D.C., to discuss next steps for Everglades restoration. As Floridians know, the intergovernmental restoration effort is the world’s largest infrastructure project that will, when complete, bring economic and environmental benefits for a vast region that ranks 13th in the nation in population and economic output.
The congressionally chartered Task Force, co-chaired by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and the state of Florida, fosters the necessary collaboration needed to line up funding, engineering capability and science to get restoration done. The Task Force meeting could not come at a more important time. Several issues require immediate attention.

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City Labs: Can Florida’s Toxic Algae Be Stopped?

City Labs: Written by Rebecca Renner. July 18, 2018.

Toxic blue-green algae has bloomed again in Lake Okeechobee, Florida’s largest lake, an outbreak so severe that Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in seven counties. While the term “algae bloom” might not sound dangerous, it is an outbreak of cyanobacteria that presents a significant risk to public health.

In early July, the bloom was reported to cover more than 90 percent of Lake Okeechobee’s surface. The green sludge has crept outward from the lake and filled waterways with a putrid sludge that locals say smells like mold. News reports are warning residents to keep children and animals away from contaminated water. According to the CDC, ingesting it—including through consumption of marine animals like oysters—is the most dangerous type of exposure. Effects can include skin, nose, eye, and throat irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

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TC PALM: River of my childhood faces new round of indignities | Guest column

TC Palm: Written by John Moran. July 18, 2018.

The Great Toxic Slime Outbreak of 2018 has befouled the Caloosahatchee River, the river of my childhood.

I needed to see for myself, so I grabbed my cameras and headed south to Fort Myers and Cape Coral. A heartbreaking sight awaited.

Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in seven counties to combat the noxious green algae fed by water discharges from Lake Okeechobee.

The governor directed state health officials to warn Floridians and visitors of the dangers of toxic algae. Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, will assist impacted businesses. And the governor once again blamed the Army Corps of Engineers for the slow pace of Everglades restoration projects.

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CBS NEWS: Algae bloom toxin linked to Alzheimer's, other diseases

CBS News: Written by Amy Kraft. January 21, 2016.

In the late 1990s, Paul Alan Cox, Ph.D., an ethnobotanist currently at the Institute for EthnoMedicine in Jackson Hole, Wyo. and colleagues, began traveling to the Pacific island of Guam to interview Chamorro villagers who were suffering from a disease that was similar to Parkinson's, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and Alzheimer's disease. The mysterious illness was first noticed by the U.S. military in the 1950's. Yet 20 years of research didn't turn up any clues.

Dr. Leonard Kurland, a neurologist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at the time, found that although the disease was prevalent in a few remote villages, there was no clear pattern of inheritance. Dr. Ralph Garruto, also at NIH then, observed that when outsiders moved in with Chamorro families, they could also develop the disease.

"Our field work was sort of like reading an Agatha Christie novel. Who is the murderer?" Cox told CBS News. "We knew that other peoples on Guam, including the Filipinos, the Caroline islanders, U.S. military personnel, and expatriate Japanese did not get the disease, only the Chamorro villagers.

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BD OUTDOORS: Florida Fishing Needs Outside Help Now

BD Outdoors: Written by BD Staff. July 18, 2018.

You don’t have to live in Florida to care about the survival of its fisheries and waterways.

You might want to visit the Everglades one day or tap into Florida’s many diverse fishing opportunities. But unfortunately, many of these wild places teeter on the brink of total destruction due to poor water and pollution management. Progress has been made recently and the momentum of the public outcry is growing, but Florida needs the voices to come from outside the state too. The U.S. Senate is about to vote on measures that could make or break the progress made so far. To have sportsmen and anglers from other states request action to save Florida will go a long way in saving these places for everyone to enjoy.

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