One very important right-to-know issue that goes largely unresolved is the right to know if the waters you recreate in are safe. Residents and tourists seek Florida waters for many forms of recreation, including paddling, skiing, surfing, swimming, boating and diving.
Florida’s soaring population is good for business, but there may be a hidden price: the health of the state’s life-sustaining environment. The Sunshine State added almost 3 million people in the past 10 years, swelling from 18.8 to 21.7 million and muscling into the No. 3 spot in the nation.
People have a right to know what is in the water and the potential health risks. Waterborne is a documentary film exploring the public health impact of harmful algal blooms and waterborne containments. Hear from scientific experts and officials on how Florida’s policies fail to reduce the occurrence of HABs and bacteria contamination and inadequately protect the public from exposure.
A new bill is calling for warning signs about what’s lurking underneath the surface of Florida’s waterways. If the Safe Waterways Act becomes law, signs would warn people of fecal bacteria present in any body of water. Those behind the bill believe it can turn the tide for public health as thousands of miles and rivers are impaired.
A new bill championed by the nonprofit Calusa Waterkeeper introduced this week in the Florida Senate would close that gap in the nearly million acres of estuaries and 9,000 miles of streams and rivers the state has verified are polluted with fecal indicator bacteria.
Dozens of scientists, environmental groups, elected officials and agency heads met to talk about recent changes to a still-controversial plan to govern Lake Okeechobee releases. Paul Gray, Audubon Florida’s director of science, offered a cautionary tale about becoming strictly wedded to policies that don’t necessarily make ecological sense.
State Senator Lori Berman and State Representative Yvonne Hayes Hinson recently filed SB 604 and HB 393, termed the “Safe Waterways Act.” The legislation will require county health departments to post and maintain warning signs at additional public bathing places that have been verified impaired for enterococci bacteria by the Florida Department of Health.
A state report shows trouble in Southwest Florida’s water. Scientists warn that areas of our water are polluted with nutrients and bacteria. While the findings are no surprise to those who sample and study our waterways, the unwanted attention could be a much-needed wake-up call.
What’s been long suspected now is official: Southwest Florida’s most cherished waters are in trouble. From Charlotte Harbor south to San Carlos Bay, a draft state report shows widespread pollution from the fertilizer nitrogen and the algae byproduct, chlorophyll. Many of them also contain unhealthy levels of fecal bacteria.
A proposed Lake Okeechobee management plan is still drawing concerns from state water managers and the public as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to finalize what’s called the Lake Okeechobee System Operation Manual, or LOSOM.
The public will soon get a chance to see models the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been using to formulate a controversial Lake Okeechobee management plan that will be in place for more than a decade. The plan governs water releases and lake levels.
A new plan to regulate Lake Okeechobee’s water levels and outflows is nearly complete. It’s also a complete mess, or a good plan, or simply flawed, depending on who you talk to. As Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani sees it, none of the stakeholders feel duly accommodated.