News & Events for Chesapeake Bay

Florida May Adopt Limits on Amount of Toxins From Blue-Green Algae Blooms Allowed in Waterways

Date Posted: 2019-07-08
Source: TampaBay.com

While the state and an environmental group agree this is a good idea, they disagree on how those regulations would be enforced.

Blue-green algae is popping up all over Florida this summer.

It's in the canals of Gulfport and the Intracoastal Waterway in Treasure Island. In Bradenton, the Manatee River has turned green from the stuff, which the mayor of Holmes Beach calls "gumbo." In Lake Okeechobee, toxins have hit a level three times what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deems safe. Meanwhile state officials have convened a Blue-Green Algae Task Force to figure out how to prevent such blooms in the future. So far they have concluded only that the state's current regulations, which rely largely on voluntary anti-pollution measures, don't work very well.

Amid fears of another summer of toxic algae afflicting the state and hurting its economy, officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection say they are considering new regulations on how much of the natural toxins are allowed in the state's waterways.

One of the environmental groups that petitioned the state to take the step says it's a welcome move. But state officials and the environmental activists disagree on how the water pollution regulations ought to be employed to combat the algae blooms.

Read the full story.

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