It’s lime green. It’s thick as guacamole. It smells worse than raw sewage. It can be seen from space. This is the giant algae bloom sloshing ashore our Treasure Coast beaches and waterways – killing wildlife, damaging local economies, and threatening public health.
It’s lime green. It’s thick as guacamole. It smells worse than raw sewage. It can be seen from space. This is the giant algae bloom sloshing ashore our Treasure Coast beaches and waterways – killing wildlife, damaging local economies, and threatening public health. It’s due in large part to massive discharges of toxic fertilizer and nutrient-laced water from Lake Okeechobee, the result of Big Sugar’s blocking of restoration of the Everglades by lining the pockets of Gov. Scott and his allies that control the legislature.
An unusually wet winter combined with high temperatures and continuing nutrient and fertilizer runoff from agriculture has created an emergency situation in south Florida. Facing a Lake Okeechobee full of (toxic) water threatening to burst at its seams, the Army Corps of Engineers discharged these excess waters out to both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
The response so far from Scott and his allies has been a lot of finger pointing and obfuscation. None of Scott’s proposed actions will do anything to truly solve the underlying problem: there’s too much pollution being dumped into Lake Okeechobee, and there’s nowhere for the water to go except to be diverted through highly destructive discharges to our coasts. We need the voices of everyday Floridians to push past the inaction of our politicians and the weight of Big Sugar’s political influence.
There’s a lot that needs to be done by state and local government to reduce the pollution choking our lakes, rivers, and springs while restoring natural watersheds that effectively clean and store fresh water. One of the steps we can make toward smart water policy is purchasing land south of Lake Okeechobee and restoring natural water flow through the Everglades and into Florida Bay.
The toxic green slime that is consuming parts of south Florida should serve as a wake up call to our leaders that it’s time for a serious change in how we protect our land and water.