algae blooms

DeSantis Offers ‘Bold’ Plan To Address Water Woes

Jan 11, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis, appearing in areas hit hard by outbreaks of toxic algae and red tide, signed an executive order Thursday expanding state efforts to improve Florida’s troubled waters.

While the fish kills have stopped washing up on Pinellas County beaches, red tide is still an ongoing problem in the area. The Board of Commissioners voted recently on an agreement with the state that would give the county an additional three million dollars for red tide cleanup.

Brevard Gets A Break From Red Tide

Nov 14, 2018
Courtesy of Brevard County

Red tide appears to be clearing in Brevard County.

For now some residents on Florida's east coast are breathing easier.

Environmental groups and state water managers are sparring over land for an Everglades restoration project to help with Florida’s algae blooms, following a controversial vote last week by the governing board of the South Florida Water Management District.

A South Florida environmental technology company has a plan to fight the state's blue-green algae problems with microscopic plastic beads. 

Green Water Solution is one of four finalists for the George Barley Water Prize, a $10 million award started by the Everglades Foundation to address toxic algae blooms through new technologies. The prize is intended to fund a technology that can be used around the globe to reduce phosphorus contamination in water.

Trump Signs Off On Major Reservoir Project

Oct 24, 2018
NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY

Construction of a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee that state lawmakers envision as a way to help a region beset by toxic algae blooms was part of a wide-ranging water bill signed Tuesday by President Donald Trump.

Broward county scientists, business owners, and politicians met Monday to discuss possible responses to the Red Tide outbreak in the Atlantic.

Members of Congress Ted Deutch and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, both Democrats, moderated the roundtable at the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. 

Though she vowed not to place blame, Wasserman Schultz addressed key decisions that she said contributed to Florida’s current environmental crisis.

Last week the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board approved a plan to move forward with testing of what it calls Emergency Estuary Protection Wells, which it says could reduce the need for ecologically damaging discharges to the coastal estuaries from Lake Okeechobee. The wells would use deep injection technology to pump water about 3,000 feet below ground into the what’s known as the "boulder zone." According to a district press release, the wells would only be used during high water emergency situations like the one we’re currently facing. But, critics say the wells are a bad idea that could have harmful impacts on the state's freshwater drinking supply. We’re joined by Ansley Marr, Section Administrator for the Northern Everglades at the South Florida Water Management District to learn more.

Amy Green/WMFE

It appears that a noxious red tide algal bloom has reached one of Florida's main metropolitan areas. 

Toxic blue-green algae blooms have officially come to Fort Lauderdale.

The green, foul-smelling goop has been sighted in Intracoastal canals, near Annie Beck Park, and the Las Olas Isles neighborhood.  

Adam Weinstein lives on the 15th street canal, and noticed the green floating patches near the dock behind his house two weeks ago.

Algae A Hot Button Issue For Florida’s Gubernatorial Primary

Aug 20, 2018
Amy Green/WMFE

The five democratic candidates for governor are largely in agreement on what to do about Florida’s algae bloom crisis: redirect freshwater releases from lake O south through the Everglades to a reservoir, which is yet to be constructed, address the sources of nutrient pollution flowing into the lake, and eliminate the political influence of Florida’s sugar industry which has been linked to that nutrient pollution.

Governor Rick Scott declared a state of Emergency Aug. 13 for seven southwest Florida counties currently impacted by a lingering toxic red tide algae bloom crisis. The bloom, which has persisted since last fall, now stretches some 150 miles between Naples and Anna Maria Island and appears to be moving north.

The City of Sarasota has declared a state of emergency over the toxic red tide bloom that began in November.

Todd Kerkering is the emergency manager for the city of Sarasota. He has lived there since the 1970s and said he doesn't remember ever hearing about an emergency declaration in Sarasota because of red tide. 

Amy Green

There’s a new study into the resilience of Lake Okeechobee’s toxic algae as it flows from the fresh water lake into the brackish estuaries.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Gov. Rick Scott issued an emergency order Monday and provided $1.5 million to help clean up water and bring back tourists to Southwest Florida after the latest outbreak of red tide. 

Florida’s problem with algal blooms has taken center stage, and efforts to mitigate it are in high demand. A partnership between two engineering and bioplastics companies aims to bring a new type of solution to the market. One Florida county is already trying it out.

A toxic red tide algae bloom that’s been persisting in Southwest Florida for nearly a year is now making its way to the Tampa Bay area. It’s been most recently reported as far north as Pinellas County.

This past weekend, beachgoers on Anna Maria Island in Manatee County witnessed thousands of dead fish and other marine life wash ashore from red tide poisoning. 

Wikimedia Commons

Researchers are reporting a spiking number of sea turtle deaths in Florida waters plagued by a red tide algae bloom.

Amy Green/WMFE

A $3 million grant program for local governments to clean toxic algae blooms in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries has been started by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Gov. Rick Scott’s office Monday announced the grant program, which follows his July 9 executive order declaring a state of emergency for Glades, Hendry, Lee, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties because of algae outbreaks.

Last week, Gov. Rick Scott ordered a state of emergency for seven counties around Lake Okeechobee as a result of toxic algae blooms. Now the Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from the lake because the algae has spread to both Florida coasts, hurting home values, tourism and local businesses. 

WQCS

Tourism, fishing and public health are being threatened by contaminants discoloring stretches of beaches at the southern end of the Florida peninsula.

From inside their massive headquarters in West Palm Beach, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) regulates the natural flow of water from Orlando to the Keys. Using canals and water-holding sites, officials are trying to prevent the types of algae blooms that led Governor Scott to declare a state of emergency in seven counties on Monday.

NASA

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday issued an emergency order over the reemergence of toxic algae outbreaks on both coasts, as the regions’ water quality blossoms into a political issue.

South Florida’s lakes and rivers aren’t the only waterways in the state experiencing toxic algal blooms.

WQCS

A massive algae outbreak is spreading in the Caloosahatchee River in southwest Florida.

Worries Bloom Over Lake Okeechobee Algae

Jun 25, 2018
Amy Green/WMFE

There are new fears about algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee.

As soon as they could after Hurricane Irma, researchers went out onto Florida Bay to see how the estuary fared after its close encounter with a Category 4 storm.

Agency: Algae Bloom In Lake Okeechobee Not Toxic

Jul 31, 2017
NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY

State environmental agencies say an algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee is not toxic.

But environmental groups want more information.

WQCS

Four counties along Florida's Treasure Coast make up a cluster with high rates of both deaths from liver disease and algae blooms.

TCPalm reported Sunday that the cluster in Indian River, Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties is the only one of its kind in the state.

Nationwide, there are 65 such clusters, according to researchers at Ohio State University.

While the Ohio State study found a suspicious link with a toxin commonly found in blue-green algae, it did not go so far as to confirm that blooms cause liver disease.

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