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The Red Tide/Blue Green Algae Crisis

Florida is recovering from an unprecedented water quality crisis that lasted much of 2018. Algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee are streamed into estuaries, and Red Tide outbreaks are killed fish, manatees, dolphins and turtles along the  Southwest coast.  The crisis threatens our health, the health of our environment, and tourism economy Florida depends on. 

Harmful algal blooms, both fresh and salt water, have many causes. Science now indicates red tide, although natural, is accelerated by increased coastal pollution. Intensity of HABs is caused by human pollution, but what are the biggest causes? 

The purpose of this page is to provide critical information on this crisis and prioritize the actions we must take in response.

Florida’s Water Crisis, The Blame Game

Critical News, Studies and Background on HAB's

Florida's Water Crisis, news articles and videos

Governor DeSantis announces appointment of 11 to Red Tide Task Force. The Red Tide Task Force will complement the Blue Green Algae Task Force and the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative, which is the partnership between the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute within FWC and Mote Marine Laboratory.

The Governor previously signed the bill implementing The Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative.That bill established a coordinated effort to prevent, control and mitigate red tide. The bill has drawn criticism from environmentalists, who argued during the legislative session that the proposal had a limited focus on prevention, with the primary attention directed at controlling and mitigating outbreaks. Click here for Tampa Bay times story for more.

DeSantis says Florida will commit $3 million a year for the next 5 years from the general revenue fund to help FWC and Mote Marine for the purpose of prioritizing red tide prevention.

The Lake Okeechobee Algae Crisis, a comprehensive editorial by Randy Schultz of the Sun Sentinel with excellent historical detail.

Excellent round up of Florida’s epic water problems around the state by Orlando Sentinel’s Kevin Spear.  Red Tide And Green Slime. Florida Faces Epic Fight .

Fox 13 WTVT Chief Investigator/Political Editor has produced  this special, Environment Under Attack:  Florida’s Water Crisis,  that examines the causes, history and blame game connected to our current crisis.  Segments of this special include the following:

“Spoiling Florida’s Treasures: Green Slime and the mess in state government”:  Excess nutrients in our water, particularly from agriculture, resulted in dead wildlife and bad health effects. Governor Bob Graham initiated statewide growth management, and Governor Charlie Crist allocated $1.75 billion for Everglades water storage. Both efforts were later curtailed.

“The history and causes of Florida’s water crisis”: Massive development started after WWII, so in 1980s Governor Graham enacted growth management with the Department of Community Affairs, dismanted by Governor Scott in 2010. Scott also: eliminated mandatory septic tank inspections; drastically cut water monitoring stations from 350 to 115; cut $700 million from water management district budgets in 2011; reduced FDEP enforcement actions from about 1500 cases per year to 250 per year.

“Florida’s Water Crisis: The Blame Game”: Governor Scott denies climate change existence with actions to roll back environmental regulations, dismantle growth management, and cut back water monitoring and enforcement. He blamed the federal government for harmful algal blooms, claiming the Lake Okeechobee dike was responsible. Local governments were lack in maintaining sewer infrastructure, resulting in spills and pollution. Extreme red tide conditions have been exacerbated by nutrient runoff and pollution.

Yes, Rick Scott did cut $700 million from Florida’s Water Management Districts.  Click here for this analysis by Politifact on claims that Scott made these cuts.


Reports and Studies


The Florida Conservation Coalition created this 2018 Candidates Briefing on current land and water conservation issues and what needs to be done:  Click here. CANDIDATE_BRIEFING_9

Trouble in Paradise is a 55 page powerpoint presentation that outlines 6 key issues to tackle Florida’s Environmental Challenges.  1808-trouble-in-paradise-media-final.pdf

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