Originally published in The News-Press by Chad Gillis on July 28, 2020

Florida’s Blue-Green Algae Task Force is meeting again, after a several-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The group is made up of scientists from around the state who make recommendations to lawmakers with the goal of eventually cleaning up the state’s ailing waterways.

A toxic blue-green algae bloom ravaged the Caloosahatchee River and its estuary in the summer of 2018, and an equally nasty bloom hit the St. Lucie area during the winter of 2016.

Much of Wednesday’s agenda focuses on notifying the public during toxic bloom. It starts at 8:30 a.m.

“We expected (Florida Department of Health) would be putting out signage that there is blue-green algae out there, so what we want is a better notice to the public of potential toxic bloom conditions, ” said Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani. “The problem as we see it now is every county health unit has a different process for putting out signs or not, so it boils down to local elected officials who probably have no background in public health making decisions on public health.”

Continue Reading