Environmental groups worry that releases from the Piney Point wastewater treatment facility near Tampa Bay will eventually fuel an algae bloom that could harm areas of coastal Florida. Nutrient-rich waters from the treatment facility will offset natural balances in the coastal estuaries and eventually end up in the Gulf of Mexico, where red tide initiates.
A wastewater reservoir in Manatee County is on the verge of collapse. If the Piney Point reservoir collapses, a 20-foot wall of water is expected to flood the area. A drone discovered a possible second breach in the reservoir as more pumps were headed to the site to prevent a catastrophic flood.
Hazardous water began leaking from a retention pond at a former phosphate processing plant in Manatee County. Since then, homes have been evacuated and a stretch of U.S.-41 was shut down in Manatee and Hillsborough Counties. The next question is, could this toxic water be headed to Southwest Florida?
Water quality throughout the historic Everglades has become more concerning for many scientists and environmental advocates in recent years. An example of the growing concern over water quality is Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Eighth Biannual Review from the National Academy of Sciences.
First Officer Peter Karas of the St. James City Boat Club said about 35 people and roughly 15 boats participated in a clean-up effort around Pine Island. Overall, he said the Boat Club did very well at what they’d intended, including making a substantial donation to Calusa Waterkeeper.
Fair is fair. That’s the message Lee County’s commission and all of its mayors hope the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers takes to heart as it makes future decisions about releasing polluted water from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee and Estuary.
Our Calusa Waterkeeper discusses Lake Okeechobee water levels, ongoing red tide blooms and cyanobacteria in the Caloosahatchee. Plus, he updates us on the manatee mortality rate, and the newly-released Southwest Florida Water Quality Report.
Environmental Group Points to Urbanization and Agriculture as Top Reasons for Florida’s Ailing Waterways
Coastal urbanization is the top factor driving pollution from the Tampa Bay area south to Collier County, and the water quality in many of those counties declined over a recent three-year period. Those were some of the findings from a report released last week by Calusa Waterkeeper.
It is Clean Water Week and the St. James City Boat Club is joining the Calusa Waterkeeper to help clear debris and test the quality of the water in certain spots. Members of the boat club headed to Picnic Island and many of the canals throughout St. James City and Flamingo Bay to pick up trash in the water.
A scientific study concludes that Florida manatees are chronically exposed to glyphosate because of the application of the pesticide to sugarcane and aquatic weeds. The study found glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and the world’s most-used pesticide, in the plasma of 55.8% of the Florida manatees sampled.
The Army Corps conducts and regulates releases, and the agency has tried to keep the level of the lake between 12.5 feet and 15.5 feet above sea level to provide flood control, water supply to farms and urbanized areas, and to provide healthy flows to systems like the Caloosahatchee.
Even during a possible government shutdown, Congressman Byron Donalds wants the federal government to continue monitoring waterways for harmful algal blooms. That’s the first bill Donalds has introduced during his tenure as the representative for Florida’s 19th congressional district.